Nintendo Employee ‘Terminated’ After Smear Campaign Over Censorship, Company Denies Harassment Was Factor [UPDATED]

Nintendo Employee ‘Terminated’ After Smear Campaign Over Censorship, Company Denies Harassment Was Factor [UPDATED]

Nintendo employee Alison Rapp, who’s been a target of harassment over censorship controversies in recent months, said on Twitter that she has been fired. “Today, the decision was made,” she wrote. “I am no longer a good, safe representative of Nintendo, and my employment has been terminated.”

Rapp laid the blame on those harassing her, saying that the people attacking her for months online had been hounding Nintendo to get her fired, as we reported earlier this month.

Update – 11:48am: Nintendo denies she was fired due to harassment, and says she was let go because having a second job was in “conflict with Nintendo’s corporate culture”. The company did, however, acknowledge what’s happened to her in recent weeks:

“Though Ms. Rapp’s termination follows her being the subject of criticism from certain groups via social media several weeks ago, the two are absolutely not related. Nintendo is a company committed to fostering inclusion and diversity in both our company and the broader video game industry and we firmly reject the harassment of individuals based on gender, race or personal beliefs. We wish Ms. Rapp well in her future endeavours.”

She’s been a target at least since last fall, receiving so much online venom that she published a round-up of some of the worst of it. People had been calling her “cancerous” and a “feminazi face piercings bitch.” They dug through her online wish-lists to shame her, seeking anything to ruin her rep. That continued as Rapp remained on the bad end of cannon shots in gaming’s culture war. She was labelled a social justice warrior and blamed for what appeared to be Nintendo’s efforts to tone down sexualized elements in Western versions of games Nintendo had already published in Japan.

For years, Rapp had worked within Nintendo’s Treehouse division, which directly translated the company’s Japanese games, but she didn’t work in translation or localisation. She was part of marketing. That didn’t spare her.

The Japanese gaming giant has faced increased scrutiny late last year when a number of recent Nintendo games, including Xenoblade Chronicles X and Fire Emblem Fates, had been altered during the localisation process. These content edits largely centered on the sexualization of young girls and appeared to be altered out of an assumption by Nintendo that Western audiences would be less tolerant of teenagers being presented as sex objects.

Nintendo never did much to explain why it was making these changes, and critics looked for a boogeyman, finding one in Rapp who had a long Twitter history of supporting feminist issues (and an equally long one of seeming to be a huge Nintendo fan long before she worked for the company).

Among the changes Nintendo made in their games for America was the removal of an option to change a female character’s breast size. “The reality is, I actually had no involvement with localised content changes of any kind,” Rapp said today, as she’d told us in December. “Come on, I *wanted* the XCX [Xenoblade Chronicles X] boob slider!”

Rapp regularly discussed her harassment on Twitter and seemed to be managing her way through it, but, when Fire Emblem Fates was released in February with a flirtatious face-touching mini-game removed, things took another turn. Someone found a 2011 college essay of hers, in which Rapp explored Japan’s relationship with child porn laws and, ironically, seemed to fall more in line with a Japanese cultural viewpoint about the sexualization of teens. It was a complicated, messy essay that often argued for Japan to keep its cultural values intact — the very thing many of her harassers were supposedly arguing for — but was spun by some as defending pedophilia.

The idea that Rapp was pro-pedophile became the new line of attack, and an anti-sex trafficking group was even convinced to condemn Rapp. The attacks pushed the idea that kid-friendly Nintendo shouldn’t stand by her.

“Over the last few wks [weeks], I’ve had to talk safety measures w/my family – including talks w/police to warn them of possible suspicious activity,” she said. “Throughout this, GG has been digging up all kinds of things about my personal life and contacting Nintendo about them.”

Rapp specifically mentioned GamerGate today as being agents of her harassment, but it was never clear whether one particular group was after her. My reporting suggested some people had taken tactics used by harassers during GamerGate and applied them here.

Image Credit: Jim Cooke

Image Credit: Jim Cooke

A commenter on the Neo Nazi and white supremacist website The Daily Stormer, for example, published an extensive list of contact information for different Nintendo executives, encouraging people to report Rapp and ask for her firing.

It might have worked.

Beyond saying she’s been “terminated,” Rapp couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say much more.

“Obviously this is a lot to sift through and some of it’s highly confidential, so apologies that I can’t go into tons of details,” she said on Twitter. She did not respond to a request to comment.

And despite what happened, she was still thankful for her time at Nintendo.

“I do want to also say that I had some truly incredible coworkers at Nintendo,” she said, “and I’d love it if you continued to support them.”

We don’t know the full details of what happened, or what the conversations were like between Rapp and Nintendo. It’s possible that Nintendo truly was uncomfortable with Rapp’s college essay (despite it being publicly linked on her Linkedin page) or old Tweets about similar topics and decided to part ways with her.

But we do know this: Nintendo was publicly silent while one of their employees was harassed and smeared online over something she did not do. That’s a fact. It’s not in dispute. Nintendo watched Rapp become the center of a witch hunt and did nothing publicly to defend her. Despite my requests for comment, the company said nothing. As it turns out, maybe that silence said everything.

The response to Rapp’s firing has been swift, vocal, and mostly negative, even in places normally hostile to outspoken individuals like Rapp. “Nintendo is in the wrong for firing her,” said a poster on the GG-friendly subreddit Kotaku in Action. “Good job guys you fired a person who literally did nothing wrong,” said another on 4chan. (Other posters in both threads celebrated Rapp’s firing, of course.) The Nintendo of America Twitter feed is being deluged with people protesting and condemning the decision, and one indie developer even says he cancelled a game planned for Wii U.

Whether any of this prompts Nintendo to respond is unclear. For now, the silence continues. (Update – 11:48am: Nintendo has now commented, see the top of the story.)


  • Nintendo America really need to get some better PR people to deal with this sort of thing. Shame it appears she’s lost her job over all this.

    • The person who hired her should have read through that essay she wrote. She literally says that possession of child pornography should not be criminalized – a blanket statement with no caveats. Patrick’s article whitewashes this to an extreme degree.

      Harassment is wrong, but if Nintendo decided it didn’t want someone with such a soft stance on child porn on its books, that’s Nintendo’s decision to make, and is frankly a decision I’d probably make myself if I were in Nintendo’s shoes. Imagine if Fox media decided to run with the headline “Nintendo Won’t Fire Child Porn Apologist”. Great for business…

      • How many employers do you expect to read through essays from only one of a potential x number of candidates for a position and why do you think it is a reasonable use of time to do so?

      • Oh yeah cause an essay written in uni 5 years ago should be required reading for potential employers

        • I haven’t read the essay so I can’t comment on the context, however in 15 years people change their beliefs a lot and what they wrote that long ago may not necessarily be what they believe in now.

          However the fact that she supposedly linked the essay in her profile might lead some to believe she still holds those views. It’s views that look bad for Nintendo.

          • Plus the tweets that she wrote during her time with Nintendo strongly suggest her views haven’t changed.

        • Wait a second. The page we are reading says her essay was written in 2011. 2016 minus 2011 is 5 years. Why is everyone perpetuating this huge grade 1 level mathematical miscalculation?

      • There’s due diligence, and there’s reading through every essay ever posted online that you wrote more than 15 years ago. The essay called for not criminalizing possession of child pornography *in Japan* – it was a hot-topic and widely debated issue around 2000 because IIRC Japan was in the process of criminalizing it. A controversial opinion expressed more than a decade back is not normally something a potential or current employer would even notice let alone care about. It only became a thing because a group of people decided to harass an unrelated woman in retaliation for the company making decisions they disagreed with, and decided to dig up any dirt they possibly could and then rope in as many external people as they could to add extra pressure.

        It looks like what actually went down here is that some anti sex-trafficking group was ‘tipped off’ about the time she stated a controversial personal opinion and then filed a formal complaint to Nintendo about it. Basically, a concerted effort was made to get someone fired because they landed in the crosshairs of a group that decided that an outspoken woman working in the division of the company that made decisions they disagreed with needed to be punished for those decisions, regardless of whether she had any say in them (hint: she didn’t). The nature of the opinion isn’t really relevant, it just happens that in her particular case she stated an opinion about a topic that causes most people’s knees to jerk involuntarily, allowing them to somehow re-frame their frothing vitriol as ‘OMG PEDO APOLOGIST’ instead of ‘OMG SJW THAT STOPPED US HAVING A BOOB SIZE SLIDER / THIRTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL IN A BIKINI”. The latter is what actually happened.

        EDIT: Even if she wasn’t fired for it, the fact that she was harassed at all in the first place is wrong, and the fact that Nintendo did nothing to assist or protect her from that harassment and stayed silent on it completely is very wrong.

        • Page 45 of the publication specifically mentions that “Criminalizing of the possession of a type of media – whether it be violent video games […] or child pornography – is tantamount to criminalizing thought, and should be above countries like the US and Japan who have such strong freedom of speech protections.

          She also published recent tweets suggesting she still held this view, such as condemning the arrest of a man who was busted for child porn possession after his house was burgled.

          Yes, people were no doubt using these facts as a pretext to further their own agenda of getting Alison Rapp fired, but Nintendo understandably thought these views were too controversial for its public image.

          Nintendo coming out and saying the harassment had nothing to do with the firing is fair enough, but I would eat my hat if the thesis and Alison’s subsequent tweets were the real reason she was let go. The stuff about a second job is no doubt designed to protect both Nintendo and Alison. It was an ‘amicable’ parting, and rightly so.

          • I don’t agree with your position on this (that Nintendo were justified in firing her – if that’s not your position then I apologize but it seems to be what you’re arguing?) but I do agree that their statement on the thing sounds like a classic covering-their-ass move. Especially considering that Washington state is one where you can be fired on the spot for any reason without notice. Fire because of one thing, but then blame the employee violating some obscure rule or technicality. No way to know for sure though.

          • Well, turns out the second job may have involved sexy modeling. This thing gets more interesting by the moment.

          • Yeah and if that’s the case I can see why they’d fire her for it. Still a crap situation all around though.

          • True, particularly for the internet, which only likes black and white, not grey 😛

      • I said some abominably stupid things in my early 20’s. Luckily, I’ve learned a lot since then. Even luckier, people don’t judge current me by my past.
        Everyone should have the opportunity to learn and grow as a person without having past mistakes rubbed viciously in their faces for months on end.

        • You should link documents supporting those acts of stupidity on your profile… otherwise what you have said holds no bearing on this article. For all intents and purposes, she appears to stand by what she wrote, and even proudly displays it for all to see.

          This is the first I have heard of her plight and the harassment is disgusting, but I am finding it hard to find sympathy for being maligned due to intentional actions taken on her part.

        • I think we’ve all done stupid things. When it comes to public image though, you only get one shot.

    • It was quite understandable. Read her essay, which contain views that she has not publicly retracted, as far as I’m aware. Then tell me that Nintendo (which prides itself on its ‘family friendly’ image) firing her is surprising.

      • I did read the essay, and it turned out to be exactly what I expected it would be when someone first mentioned it. And I don’t see at all why it should have anything to do with anything, or why it should be retracted.

        • Nintendo’s a “family friendly” company, which sees its products as “toys” marketed primarily at young (and young at heart) audiences. Having someone who has publicly called for non-criminalisation of child porn on its books as an employee doesn’t exactly fit Nintendo’s image. I think it’s perfectly understandable that Nintendo would want to part ways with her. I’m not saying Alison did anything wrong. She’s entitled to her opinion. But nothing obliges Nintendo to keep her on as an employee once that opinion becomes a commercial liability.

          • Bullshit. It’s an essay which has literally nothing to do with her job or Nintendo. Do you want them to fire divorcees as well? People with speeding fines? Piercings? Anything else deemed ‘not family friendly’. It’s a piss weak response from a company that should have done a lot more for their employee while this harassment was going on.

          • Think about it like this. If I worked at a school and had previously stated that I think it should be legal to fuck kids, should I still be allowed to work at that school?

          • I am not sure I’ve ever actually properly understood “strawman”, but that sounds pretty strawman to me.

          • A Teacher and PR spokesperson for a video game company are two very different jobs. I also believe that the essay discusses child pornography not the act of legalizing child sex. I could be wrong as I haven’t read the essay. Regardless I feel like we should all be more care so to not start a witchhunt before all the facts are known

          • Put it this way, if you were Nintendo, would you want people to say, “Nintendo is a child porn sympathiser because it didn’t get rid of someone with public pro child porn views”?

            Rightly or wrongly, that is what people would say. Divorce, speeding, piercings etc are all much more socially acceptable than publicly stating, ‘let’s not arrest people for child porn possession’.

            It’s just business. Unfortunately Alison put herself in that position where Nintendo had to choose. Easy enough for Nintendo to replace her. Sad for Alison, but she was a liability.

          • Uh, no. That’s what *you’re* saying. Along with the people who are deliberately trying to attack her, undermine her and generally make her life hell.

            The rest of us don’t give a rat’s arse.

          • Nintendo is thinking of the soccer mum demographic, which seems still to be unaware of the issue. Nintendo would be thinking though of the occasions where an issue like this has become mainstream. I’m thinking the GTA ‘hot coffee’ controversy, the Mass Effect ‘alien sex’ controversy and the like. Nintendo is not going to risk that kind of negative publicity for the sake of one low/mid-level employee’s job.

            Yes, there are people furiously stoking the fire (and many no doubt doing it out of spite) but there are underlying issues that Nintendo felt it had to address regardless of the harassment.

          • Can’t reply to your other comment so posting here instead…
            I’m thinking the GTA ‘hot coffee’ controversy, the Mass Effect ‘alien sex’ controversy and the like.
            Except that wouldn’t happen in this because
            a) The issue is far smaller and the titles involved don’t have any really significant market share or popularity
            b) The accusations against her are pretty even more complete and utter bollocks based on comments taken completely out-of-context than the Mass Effect controversy – and that was pushed by Fox News because they needed some BS outrage story, and they’ve got plenty of better fodder at the current point in time.

            Suggesting that Rapp was a threat to Nintendo’s reputation is complete and utter BS straight out of the playbook of the people who have been systematically attacking her and doing anything they can to undermine her.

            Rapp has basically been screwed over by a group of hateful, self-entitled knobends, AND they’ve actually undermined and marginalised the value of legitimate complaints about localisation issues, because they were attacking idiotic things, and attacking someone who had NOTHING to do with the things they were complaining about.

            For all the bile-filled complaints I see about SJWs, the people conducting this kind of activity have a significantly and measurably worse effect on gaming and the gaming community than the SJWs they are complaining about ever would.

            Play the ball, not the player. Complain about the *real* issues, and DO NOT go after the individual.

          • Sadly, she was a threat to Nintendo’s reputation precisely because of the “hateful, self-entitled knobends”. Nintendo would not want press attention of the very kind generated in response to the furor. Your average media consumer can understand the narrative of “Nintendo employee fired as result of misogynist hate campaign” but the moment you bring in “author of thesis calling for laxer child porn laws” eyebrows start rising. We’ve all seen how irrational people get at the very whiff of child abuse. Even people who qualify offenders as suffering from a mental illness are seen as apologists.

          • Nintendo would not want press attention of the very kind generated in response to the furor.
            The only real press attention I can see came AFTER Nintendo fired her. Articles are also *extremely* careful not to actually accuse her or supporting or campaigning for pedophilia, because they know they could open them up for lawsuits, because the “smoking gun” supposedly present in her essay simply isn’t there. It’s like cutting someone’s speech with a whole lot of …s to deliberately misrepresent their views, or taking a single line entirely out of context and placing your own context around it.

            Your narrative across multiple comments on this article, even now obliquely referring to Rapp as “author of thesis calling for laxer child porn laws”, indicates that you’re falling on the side of those who have campaigned against her – and either through intent or ignorance are attempting to misrepresent her views and opinions.

          • Try that in Australia and they would probably be going through the Fair Work Commission for unfair dismissal for good reason.

          • That would actually make for an interesting case. It should be legal to fire employees that are bringing your brand into disrepute, but I’m not entirely sure.

          • It would fall under code of conduct and working in PR would most likely have a ‘Moral Code of Conduct’ which would mean the person has to perform their duties at work and outside of work you should not engage in activities that would bring down the company. I saw a lot of these in sports contracts due to athletes being basically PR persons for their brands.

    • Could be some kind of a firing-on-paper deal? Publicly terminate her but then contract her back on through some other means to get her out of the spotlight and let it all calm down. Hopefully.

      • Probably not. It’s Nintendo. They don’t dance around like that. They just make their decision and stick with it.

  • I’m sorry, but why do people think that harassing a person is okay? I’m fairly certain that if someone did that to a person in another profession, they would get in trouble, and possibly face legal action.

    • Happens all the time. Whenever a convicted child molester is discovered living anywhere there is always a witch hunt and harassment campaign, covered by a media ostensibly concerned by ‘matters of public interest’ which only serves to intensify the attention and hate campaign.

      I make no judgment of the sentiments involved, which to my mind are understandable, but actions constituting harassment or threats are not OK.

      • You make no judgment of the sentiments involved… apart from where you effectively compared Ms Rapp to a convicted child molester?

    • People think it’s ok because it’s ok to fight when you’re the good guy and they’re the bad guy, and in conflicts almost everyone sees themselves as the good guy and their opponent as the bad guy. If I worked at Nintendo and said something ridiculous like ‘women belong in the kitchen, not making games*’ we’d see the same harassment towards me from people who are probably pissed off about Alison getting fired over this. The same behaviour becomes totally acceptable because it’s aimed at a bad guy.
      The douchebags who hounded her don’t think they’re being douchebags, they simply think they’re fighting back against an oppressive force that’s trying to bully everyone into their simplistic rules. They see the small group of people who legitimately act that way and assume that anyone who remotely agrees with them is just as extreme. The same way if you say something that a Gamergate supporter might agree with people will assume you’re a full on misogynist Gamergate supporter.

      This is why I’m always so annoyed by internet mob justice and zero tolerance. Even when it’s trying to accomplish something good it’s irrational and blunt, which makes it impossible to properly discuss the subject to reach a meaningful conclusion. It just stomps anyone in it’s way into the ground in a way that reinforces the belief that the other side is unreasonable and bad.

      *I hope it goes without saying, but obviously that’s not something I believe.

      • Omg dogman, how could you say such a hurtful thing such as the internet mob is th bad guy. They’re obviously always right, even if they are opposing sides!

      • *I hope it goes without saying, but obviously that’s not something I believe.Unless it’s dinnertime, amirite?

    • Because they’re scumbags. Duh.

      Seriously, some people are just scum. Why do you think Donald Trump has managed to get as much support as he has? There’s no deep meaning behind it, some people are just human trash.

  • “A commenter on the Neo Nazi and white supremacist website The Daily Stormer”

    I know its part of the story, but why even mention these morons by name let alone give a link to thier site.

    BTW The Daily Stormer sounds like a newspaper that they sell on the Death Star.

    • Man, the death notices in that paper would be quite something.

      “Vale TS-768, who has sadly left us after mixing Vader’s laundry. He leaves behind a wife and two kids”

        • Crazy off topic, but I just thought about that for a second and realised people don’t believe in the Force at that point. Even the Emperor’s flunkies think it’s a joke. Every time Vader chokes a guy the people next to him must be like ‘what the hell just happened?! How does he have magic?!’. Imagine the guy explaining to the widow that not only is magic real but a wizard killed her husband over something petty. It’d be like if I had to tell your family you got turned into a frog by a witch for stealing her car space.

          • I kinda go with the Robot Chicken reasoning on that: Vader can’t Force Choke people, and his minions just fake it because otherwise he’d whip out his lightsaber when he gets pissed off. So there’s a lot of Imperials wearing fake beards on the Death Star.

  • It’s a shame that, due to their silence, Nintendo are tacitly sending a message that this kind of abuse is ok.

    This is especially galling as it happened to someone who by all accounts was actively trying to change this culture from the inside. Nintendo has not really ever been a company that has been hailed as “progressive”.

    The consequences of this could mean that other employees will become increasingly scared to speak out and challenge their own company’s behaviour.

  • Ugggggh. I love Nintendo but, this is a complete load of crap. The only good that could come from this is if a company better than this hires her.

      • Given the update to the article, it’s evident Nintendo understands PR only too well. Second job, my arse.

  • So, tell me again why your precious butt poses and revealing costumes are so important? #butmuhcensorships

    EDIT: no, it’s not confirmed this was the reason she was fired. But either way, the online posts and comments are pretty fucking shitty for what is essentially the removal of creepy lolicon.

      • Er, because they’re highly sexualised drawings of under-age girls?

        Something something “but they’re just drawings, nobody is being hurt” something something “they’re not under-age, they’re a different fictional race that just happen to have the body shape of toddlers!”

        • You should read Alison Rapp’s essay. She says that possession of child porn should not be criminalized. Also says some stuff about creation of child porn that doesn’t involve real children being harmless.

          • You know, for someone that bags on people for not commenting about games, you sure do a lot of commenting about mostly non-game content.

          • Almost every comment MPM makes is complaining about SJWs and the media ruining games. Or, at the very least, arguing against people that dare to question the choice of publishers and their right to include whatever they want. That’s tenuously game related.

          • @hotcakes Almost every comment, how interesting. I’m sorry if pointing out your inconsistent “standards” and how you don’t hold to account those that fit your confirmation bias offends you. Lets be honest Alex is the only one who writes about games here anymore.

            You must be shocked that everyone isn’t as prudish as you are.

            Butts = Bad
            Soft views on Child Porn = Good

            Okay got it.

          • Profile also shows different but whatever…

            I post once it’s a crime against humanity,

            Perhaps if there was more game related content I guess.

          • Fair, my “half” was an exaggeration, but so is your “one comment”. It’s at least as often as the people you rail against for never talking about games.

            We can agree on your last point.

          • I’ve honestly never been offended by anything on this site. Or anything you’ve said. Or anything anyone else has said on this site. Or anything in a game ever, really. Definitely not a prude either – sexualised content is great when it fits the theme and character.

            What I do have an issue with is this whole “SJWs are ruining games” bullshit. I also enjoy pointing out your hypocrisy (yes, you too. Human beings are by nature hypocritical).

            Like how you argue against censorship when it’s those big bad prudish SJWs asking for it. But in the Ubisoft blacklist article you were pretty happy to say censorship is a good thing if it’s stopping meanie games journalists from leaking upcoming game information.

          • That was more about the right of the owner of a patented product to announce “their” product over a media outfit looking for clicks than censorship. But if that’s what you took away, that’s what you took away.

          • Suggesting that certain material shouldn’t be written about is, by definition, censorship. Writing about leaked game information is no different to writing about leaked movies, legislation, Wikileaks, crimes, etc. It’s a core part of journalism. But you do you.

          • Reporting on an upcoming product that your audience might be interested in =/= virtual butts.

          • Yeah, I’d tried to edit my original comment but yay for train tunnels!

            My edit essentially said:

            Yes, I’m aware of her essay and I disagree with the arguments put forward in it. Which is why I find the harassment especially confusing.

            I thought it was the censorship of boob sliders, butt poses and loli girls so many people were up in arms about? Now they’re harassing someone who has previously argued FOR stuff of that nature, using that essay as ammo, and calling her a feminazi etc? The internet confuses me sometimes.

          • You are absolutely correct about the illogical nature of the harassment. The people who are accusing her of censorship have, as far as I’m aware, no basis for these arguments. Their harassment is fairly transparent. Those who say she endorses child porn are less transparent. Yes, she said possession of child porn should not be criminalized, but this opinion (on the face of it) has nothing to do with her ability to do her job. She is (presumably) not exposed to children on a daily basis and even then, nothing has pointed to her being a pedophile herself. She has a controversial opinion, but has this opinion been used as a pretext to try and get her fired? Almost certainly.

          • Illogical is the word for it, but that’s the internet for you.

            While I disagree with her essay, I do agree it’s not grounds for her dismissal. Especially given it was written 15 years ago. It’s more so the illogical connection between the censorship and the essay that I’m confused by. Unless, as you said, they’re two camps of people. But I’d argue there’s at least some crossover – the essay was just convenient ammunition.

            Essentially I doubt the harassment was what directly got her fired. It was the publicity the harassment brought to her essay – Nintendo being a “family friendly” company decided they didn’t want to be associated with that. Doesn’t make the harassment right in any way.

            TL;DR essentially I’m saying I agree with you?

          • idk man people are weird. They lose sight of what they want to do, channel their hatred to something that is innocent to make them feel better because gee Nintendo censored game because of a person of female gender ( like it is true).

            Anyhow, lolicon is actually not the child porn you think it is but not like I can convince you otherwise judging from your defence against it.

            Probably best to not judge a book from it’s cover. Don’t be like those people that ruined Rapp’s career.

          • I’m aware there’s also “lolicon” as in the fashion style (maid-esque outfits and that kind of thing) which I have no problem with. I’m referring more to loli hentai which is, for all intents and purposes, fictionalised child porn. Perhaps that’s where the confusion lies?

            In any case, I’m specifically arguing against the people that ruined Rapp’s career, though I may disagree with the essay she wrote 15 years ago.

          • We are definitely on the same page in terms of our anger towards the people that ruined Rapp’s career.

            Probably best if we stop discussing about lolicon as that topic can go ages but I can agree loli hentai is a little bit over the line so does all the tentacle porn anyway but let’s not go into that further 😛

          • Actually that fashion is often refereed to as ‘Gothic-Lolita’. Probably more or less to differentiate it from the naughty drawings.

          • Would you look at that! A civilised argument between people of slightly diverging views in the Kotaku comments section! Virtual high fives all around. 😛

          • high fives! I think we are all mostly very civilised, until someone start making fanboy comments then everyone get ticked off and go rage mode or something.

          • Yeah virtual Cp is a huge issue in most countries. Arguably no one is getting hurt by it, but then there is also the argument it might encourage people to be real pedophiles, but that’s like making a non crime a crime just incase a possible crime may happen in the future.

            I understand both views, unsure which one I agree with more.

          • I agree with the one that isn’t “it might make them into actual paedophiles”. Because that doesn’t appear any different to me from the whole “virtual murder makes real murder” argument against videogames.

          • It’s a really tough issue. At the moment the legislators have erred on the side of caution. Denying the right to possess images of virtual crimes is seen as less problematic than potentially encouraging / de-stigmatising child abuse.

          • @trogue12 Yes I am, see the parent comment to my reply here and my response to it (as well as Neg’s below) for why. And she’s not PR, she’s marketing.

            I don’t give a shit what anyone does in their personal lives. That has nothing to do with their job, people are allowed to have a life outside of work and grown adults are allowed to be grown adults. If it’s not causing anyone harm then it’s nobody else’s business.

          • Uhhh interesting…
            Also, yes i mean marketing not pr.
            Excuse the brain fart there.

          • You’re telling me you think someone should be keeping tabs on every little thing you do in life and then if they don’t like any single element of it regardless of the context, have you fired from your job?

            And you’re trying to tell me she’s the one with fucked-up ideals?

          • No, but a stance like hers on a issue such as CP while working in a job while interacting with children is pretty messed up.
            How many people have been laid off from jobs for saying somthing “misogynistic” in personal lives? People getting the sack for saying stuff on social media that is racist or other unsavory things all while in there personal life? how is this different?
            All these exceptions make my head hurt.

          • It’s not different. Those people got screwed over too.

            There are horrible people all over the world. So long as it doesn’t affect their work, why should it cost them their job? If they get fired from one place for being a horrible person, then by that reasoning should they be unable to gain a new job somewhere else, since they are still a horrible person? Do we just sentence these people to death because they can no longer afford to live any more, since they aren’t allowed to work anywhere?

            Like I said. Fucked up.

          • I agree with your point on mpt demonizing people from the workplace, but in this case she was a face of a company that makes products primarily for kids.
            She wasn’t a truck driver or maccas employee, she is/was in the public eye.
            She can belive what ever she wants, that is free will after all, but being vocal on twitter about it all, while representing the company, then expecting no ramifications isa bit rich.

          • Face of the company? Come on. I’ve been following Nintendo stuff for basically my entire life and had never heard of her til this crap started getting thrown around. Hell, her name didn’t even ring a bell as something I’ve seen in passing during the credits roll of any of their games.

            And I don’t see how on any of those tweets you linked she was “representing the company”. It’s not like it was a company account, it was her personal account.

          • But you have heard of her now? So she is representing the company.
            And unfortunately that means even out of work.
            At the end of the day, she wasn’t fired over her twitter, it was the second job.
            My point is: as some one who was in the spotlight as a worker for a company that makes games mostly for kids, her actionswere not proper, therefor in my personal opinion she should have been laid off regardless of the second job fiasco, because her poignant opions in cp affect her work.
            But hey, just as she has opinions, ao do i, and that is it right there.
            Down vote me, flame me or call me a troll for it. What ever floats your boat. Im over thsi whole thing, I’ve spent too much time replying to this.

          • That makes even less sense. She was brought into the spotlight, and half the things people are bringing up occurred before that was the case. The very notion that people should alter their current behaviour in case of some unforeseen unrelated future event which may or may not ever occur is even more absurd than anything else that has come up so far.

            If I were to draw a couple of stick figures having sex, then label it to point out that they are children and stuff it in your backpack, you are now in possession of fictional child porn. Do you agree that if someone found out about it that you should be fired from your job? That you are a criminal? And regardless of whether you do or you don’t, I don’t see how that affects your hypothetical work in marketing for a company, regardless of whether it provides family-friendly products or otherwise.

          • It’s not an entirely crazy opinion when it comes to fictional works. The reason that child pornography is criminalized is that children were abused to create it. Criminalizing possession dissuades people from obtaining it, which in turn is intended to reduce demand for it and thus reduce the amount produced. It’s much harder to make that argument when the subject is completely fictional though, and it’s extremely difficult to write a law for it (how do you determine the age of a fictional character in a drawing)?

            Based off Nintendo’s recent statement on the whole affair it looks like this might have been utterly irrelevant to the case anyway.

          • Heya Zam – out of curiosity, are you going to go through every thread on this page and argue this point?

            Here’s something really interesting about doing any kind of thesis within a university qualification: it is actually about the demonstrated research (developing a theoretical framework, considering your methodology, collecting and analysing data within appropriate ethical guidelines and in consideration of interaction with humans, animals etc.) moreso than the outcome of the thesis. Not every research project comes out with a favourable outcome and you could hardly call an unfavourable outcome a student’s “opinion” – they are bound by a process of research integrity. And then factor in the cross-cultural components and it’s actually a pretty big deal.

            So maybe consider that before you say “oh it’s an essay that she believes in.” It actually potentially is NOT an essay that she believes in, and moreso an essay that followed the appropriate ethical process.

          • She tweeted around the same time about her disgust that a bloke was arrested for possession of child porn when he was the victim of a burglary. This had nothing to do with her thesis.

            I’m interested in discussing this issue with different people with different points of view. The only reason I respond to different people in different comments is because you can then have discrete discussions with someone instead of a massive scrum like you get in places like Neogaf.

  • People are so retarded, everyone just want to put the blame on someone even when that person is unrelated to the issue.

    Great job completely missing the point and target the wrong people and made a completely innocent human being lost her job.

    I’m losing faith in humanity..

    • Yes, Alison’s innocent, but Nintendo obviously didn’t want someone who thinks possession of child porn is OK on its books. She’s totally allowed to have that opinion, but Nintendo is totally allowed not to continue to employ her.

      • Well it is quite unfortunate for Alison that her studies are based on Japanese culture and loli is actually part of Japanese culture but it is completely misinterpreted to child porn in the west.

        I’m not saying Nintendo or Alison is wrong but I’m blaming the people that cyber attacked her.

        • Yeah, I think the part of her essay about how Japanese culture doesn’t (or didn’t) demonise the sexualisation of minors was very interesting. I think her error was making blunt and non-nuanced statements like ‘possession of child porn shouldn’t be criminalised’. In Western society that is just going to cause her problems.

          • To be fair she was going to be what early twenties when she wrote that and having a strong I am a rebel and confrontational because you don’t see the world like I do. I don’t conform kinda attitude.
            I haven’t read the full essay but the introduction made sense, even if I disagree. It is also hard as the introductory paragraph said to say anything about child porn without hysteria around it. I have no idea what references are used but if laxer laws meant the actual amount of child abuse is lower it should be considered. But even with the research showing that, any attempt to rollback child porn laws would be met with a huge amount of resistance.

  • If she’s been fired due to being harassed online when the company did nothing to defend her and she had no actual input into anything she was being blamed for then she’d have a fairly strong unfair dismissal suit.

    Makes me think there was more going on at Nintendo that we don’t know about or hasn’t been mentioned here.

  • The fuck is wrong with these people.

    Additionally I sincerely hope that Alison has some kind of legal recourse to pursue some kind of damages suit with Nintendo of America, although the “of America” part of that titles doesn’t leave me with a lot of hope.

    • You’re assuming she was fired for misconduct. I would assume rather that Nintendo just decided it wanted to part ways and gave her the proper notice and termination payment.

        • Unfortunately they can make up a reason to terminate someone quite easily. Poor performance, not fitting with the company culture, budget costs, etc. Firing someone isn’t really that hard.

        • Apparently she had another job which is against the terms of the employment agreement so regardless of the WHY behind the dismissal, I would say Nintendo have an ironclad defense against unfair dismissal

        • All they need to say is “Sorry, it’s not working out. We’d like to end our relationship. We don’t have any specific problems with you or your work, and we wish you all the best.” No harm, no foul. It would be up to her to try and argue that the real reason was because of her views, in which case she could possibly try for unfair dismissal (if she were in Australia) or breach of the anti-discrimination legislation. If I were Nintendo I’d make it clear that if she goes quietly she’ll get a nice payout and a good reference. If not, well, big corporations can make it very very uncomfortable for people who refuse to leave.

  • Gamergate does not deserve to even get enough dignity to be called a ‘they’ like some coordinated or even loosely organised terrorist group, Gamergate’s beneath even that.

    No, call it an ‘it’.

    ‘It’ only exists to cause strife and suffering like this.

    ‘It’ loves that it can move mountains like this.

    ‘It’ loves the outrage – and grief – it knows it can cause.

    ‘It’ wants people to say ‘fuck Nintendo’. Like this article is clearly insinuating. As if a goal would be to ‘only make certain games be developed/released’.

    ‘It’ is counting on the hundreds of tweets and hot-takes admonishing Nintendo for the next month or six.

    But this isn’t about Nintendo. This is about how enough ‘people’ in the 21st century with enough technology can simply destroy a company’s standing in the community with distortion and abuse of a SOLITARY person.

    No, corporations are not people. But this is just another example of how actual users of the social or otherwise media are viewed in these online communities. As commodities, playthings, to be toyed with.

    Don’t play.

    • Unfortunately this is the power social media has given us. We can all now be judge, jury and executioner. That coupled with anonymity that the internet gives us. Anyone can bring a person/group down without fear and repercussion.

      The only good thing is that the Internet moves on very quickly. However the people who are publicly humiliated, well who knows if or when they will recover.

  • Who the hell advises these guys? I just cannot possibly fathom the reasoning that goes into this corporate decision-making. I mean, when it was just Konami, I assumed that there was some kind of critical douche-mass, trapped in a self-sustaining vortex of complete wankery, but Nintendo, too? Is the culture really that different that entire methods of thought and attitudes are so different?

    Is it seriously just a case of being so completely out of synch with the attitudes of ‘The West’ that they simply assume whichever overseas voices they hear loudest – hear, but don’t understand – must be representative of what they think The West wants, and they make some token gestures toward that?

    Is it a case of:
    “Wow, we’ve got so much hate-mail and social media complaints about having boobs settings. I don’t get it; there’s nothing weird about sexy ageless dragons (who look 14), but they seem to really hate it, so I guess we should cut all that out for their version.”
    “Huh. Now they’re all mad that there are no boobs settings or sexy 14yr olds. That’s weird. I thought they said they didn’t want them? Westerners are crazy. OK, well… Maybe we should fire this person they’re blaming for everything?”
    “Jeez, really? These complaints are so contradictory. It’s not even different people, they contradict themselves in the same arguments. Westerners are
    crazy. This makes my head hurt. Let’s just fire this one and hope it all goes away. I don’t want to get emails in English to my personal inbox anymore. Google translate is terrible and this shouldn’t be my problem.”
    “OK, done. Hopefully things will calm do– Oh my god no.”

    Meanwhile, in The West…

    “No, the West isn’t crazy, just those OTHER guys in the West are crazy!”
    “No, the West isn’t crazy, just those OTHER guys in the West are crazy!”
    “[pejorative Culture War label]!”
    “[opposite pejorative Culture War label]!”
    “FINE. Be ignorant! I’ll go rant endlessly about you to people who already agree with me!”
    “FINE. ME TOO. Whichever of us rants loudest will win!”

    If anyone has a clip of Homer discovering Apu’s infidelity and walking backwards in horror til he’s back home in bed, this would be the time for it.

  • The Internet is weird. First that one group actively works to get somebody they’ve never met fired from their actual job; then that others will lament the eventual firing for somebody they’ve never met, when they have no insight into the actual reasons behind it.

  • Nintendo is a business. Will all of this hoohah effect Nintendo’s bottom line in the 2016-17 financial year? Most likely not. So why bother commenting on it?

    [their point of view not mine]

    • These days one of the ‘best’ things a company can do for themselves in situations like this is shut their mouths and not say a damn thing.

      Because doing ANYTHING else, even apologising for something, only ever leads to prolonging the issue/s at hand and shining light where they simply don’t want it.

      • Exactly! that’s where I was coming from, if it isn’t going to adversely effect a companies profit beyond their normal budgeted operating parameters, then why get involved. It may not make people warm and fuzzy inside, but the reality is that quite often burring your head in the sand and sweeping an issue under the rug is often the safest practise. If they don’t talk about it, then others stop talking about it and it becomes a ‘remember that time…’

  • Why does no one find it suspicious that neither Nintendo America or the ex-employee are fully frank on the details of the termination? I get it that you hate gamer gates actions but I sorta want to know more.

      • I’m not too certain on the laws, but I was under the impression that most places of employment won’t normally comment on terminations as a matter of professionalism?

        I kinda thought the only time we normally hear about individual terminations is when the company involved thinks they have a responsibility to PR to throw someone to the wolves / hold individuals accountable for irresponsible – and publicized – actions that don’t reflect the policies of the company.

        • So basically if the action has reached a certain level of public interest? and/or public scrutiny? wouldn’t this situation count?

          • Maybe? If it was a response to public interests. If it wasn’t, then it’s no-one else’s business, right?
            That’s what makes it a decision that I don’t understand. If it was a PR-based firing, surely they would say something?

            Even then, I’m not so sure, though… I can’t remember or google inside five minutes what the Microsoft comment was about the Adam ‘Deal with it’ Orth firing.

    • Washington state is a state where unless you can legally be fired on the spot for any reason and without any notice. They don’t have to explain themselves. If her boss came in and decided to fire her because she didn’t like her hair style, that’s allowed.

      The US has some fucked up labor laws.

  • I love how all the pitchforks come out and people go nuts!!! Clearly reading the posts – there is a lot more going on here than meets the eye with her. And obviously by her own comments, there has been a long internal review which has been carried out before she just got “Fired”.

    No one should be bullied or harassed, but with what her views are in reguards to child pornography – I would do the same thing as a “Family Friendly” company. I would want as much distance from that as possible! And lets face it, when you put comments like that up – you are going to get massive negative response..

  • This whole thing is a bit blurry. On one side it seems like she was actually against censorship and wanted Nintendo to stop changing games for western release.
    On the other hand her tweets don’t look very professional and it’s easy to see why a large corporation trying to appear family friendly wouldn’t want someone with her views working for them, let alone being a PR for them.

    But no of this changes the fact that Nintendo will still probably continue to alter games for western release. So this is all kinda sad. None of this would happen if Nintendo would be faithful to the creators of its games… sigh.

    • Working in the Marketing department is not the same thing as doing PR. If she was a PR spokesperson for Nintendo then her personal twitter would have gotten her fired ages ago.

  • the internet “machine” can be very mean and good at destroying anything it gets its hands on

  • Update regarding the Update:

    Read my post above again. Gamergate would be hooting and hollering and back-slapping each other on a job well done already, as I said, it doesn’t care about what games at all, it just wants to wreck and destroy.

    But its real victory here is how it’s getting all the so-called social justice warrior crowd fired up and practically doing GG work for it.

    An abused person – at their most vulnerable – can’t always differentiate between the voices of a howling mob that are literally having an argument over them, whether in support or otherwise.

    It’s Twitter, Facebook et al that is to blame here. Such glorious and wonderful platforms for the absolute worst of humanity to shine through.

    But no, let’s talk about boycotts and making someone who definitely is not a public figure into grist for the mill.

    • Yeah. Outrage Culture in general is terrible. Not in my life has I seen such instantaneous and public mobs rallied to fire people or destroy their reputations just because they don’t like each other. We’ve all got so wrapped up in ‘fighting the good fight’ (so-called ‘good fight’) that we don’t know to stop when it’s practically over.

  • So a woman has been fired for allegedly defending child pronography due a campaign run by the people most likely to actually own and view child pronography?

    It’s political correctness gone mad.

      • That would be the fedoras who took time out from their busy Shotacon viewing schedule to hammer out emails to Nintendo demanding her dismissal because ethics in game journalism.

  • I woke up to this drama, then I took a nap and woke up to the real reason behind everything.

    I think my conscious state affects the world somehow.

  • Re: the update: second job?!? What a travesty! I can’t believe that little rat managed to hang on to her position whilst two-timing Nintendo like that.


    Even if the stated reason for termination was understandable, it takes either tone-deafness or massive balls to fire someone whose employment is such a hot topic, and then claim it was for a reason other than the ones people are harassing her about. This situation should’ve made her immune to firing decisions. Now Nintendo has basically weighed in on the controversy in just about the worst way possible, and it does affect my view of the company as a whole.

  • I completely disagree that she should have been fired and believe Nintendo and the harassers are in the wrong here, but…

    In the cold-hearted world of corporate business, what they did is somewhat ‘sensible.’ They’re a conservative Japanese company that would indeed have a focus on presentation and ‘saving face’. When this poor girl became a target in what would indeed become a PR shitstorm, of course they would have stayed silent: “People are upset? Criticisms and flak coming our way? Just one employee is the focus. Why, there’s nothing Nintendo is doing wrong!”
    Then when it came time to resolve the issue, what is the easiest solution? To remove the problem of course. It looks like it was pretty easy for them to put her on thin ice and fire her.

    I’m not excusing any of it, I think it’s all bullshit. Just it’s all I could expect now.

  • Conflict of interest is a topic most businesses cover during the hiring process, and often if an undisclosed conflict of interest is found they have grounds for termination. I can’t be a manager of one supermarket and work at the competition as well for instance.

    Social media policies are also prevalent in most businesses, dictating how you can and cannot act when online and when that online persona is in some way linked to the business you are employed by.

    I’m not excusing the behaviour of those individuals proliferating harassment online but there are reasons why this employment termination could be no different from many others in the world.

    • Totally. Our company agreement states we won’t even post in forums, message boards and social media. Including specifically stating posting to Facebook during business hours is grounds for termination (regardless of the content). And having a second job requires clearance from HR and Legal.

      I could be fired just for posting this!

      So it – at least partly – isn’t just “big ol’ Nintendo” being big and old. And the people being horrible, horrible people are still awful monsters.

  • Been playing games for over 30 years and called myself a gamer for most of that, never been ashamed. Until now. Gamergate is a fucking embarrassment. If the nazis and MRAs are on your side, maybe you should reconsider your position? Whatever the details of this story, it is just another shot in this stupid stupid war.

    Gaming is finally being taken seriously as a cultural force and these guys are literally running a campaign of NO GIRLS ALLOWED. Apparently the most terrifying thing imaginable is if games incorporate any kind of female perspective, or start treating female characters with more respect than a focus on sexuality from perspective of the male gaze.

    I hate that I have to say this but maybe the gamergaters should put down the controller and get out more? This massive contingent of pants wetting crybabies whining over their eroded cultural dominance is continuously cringe inducing.

    Women have opinions, and they don’t require approval from an incumbent white male culture to be valid. And honestly, men. Are we still harassing women for speaking up or even existing? There is something seriously wrong with male culture, and the longer gamergate rolls on the more clear this becomes.

  • Of course she was fired due to the negative PR; the ‘working two jobs’ was just a convenient loophole they could use; I bet they knew and didn’t give a shit until recently.

        • Oh like this:
          So let me get this straight;
          Nintendo woman is all for people owning child pornography without consequences, and does provocative shoots like that. Then she has the nerve to cry after she gets laid off?
          Also, why was her other job not named in the article? Isn’t that a bit cherry picky? Seems to be a big detail….

          • Also, why was her other job not named in the article? Isn’t that a bit cherry picky? Seems to be a big detail….

            Probably because it wasn’t said by Nintendo or the woman what it was.

  • Update: Nintendo rep comments with reason that does not fit Kotaku narrative. All comments to be ignored and redirected to GameGate attacks.

  • Outrage outrage outrage! Because… social injustice… maybe? Seriously, these sort of articles are the worst and directly contribute to the problem we have right now. They report two entirely separate events and pretty much, whether intended or not, craft a narrative as if one has resulted in the other with nothing more than conjecture. Once the initial ragestorm has started, doesn’t matter what the actual facts are.

    I won’t pretend that Nintendo are the best company in the world but this article damns them and judges them guilty before the author even knows anything of what is actually happening, because “Despite my requests for comment, the company said nothing. As it turns out, maybe that silence said everything.”. No company is required to respond to your request for comment, you’re not entitled to one. Hell, just as it “turns out” Nintendo were damned whether they stayed silent or not it seems.

  • Gamers, nah any man who has to go on with crap like what she and other woman have to endure just to make themselves feel better, really really need to get a life and/or stop playing out their inadequateness online.

    Here’s a hint: you really don’t need to like what someone is saying to show them respect. Except Trump, he is a lost cause for humanity.

    What someone wrote 15 years ago at uni, even if they still link to it now, means little. The whole purpose of Uni is to question long held beliefs to question social norms we take for granted. To think outside the box.

  • Nintendo caving in to the online abusive shithead brigade. Well that says everything about the state of modern gaming, doesn’t it? I fucking hate the modern gaming community.

  • Way to go, Nintendo. Giving in to the Internet Boy Taliban is such a great move, and totally not the exact definition of “a real dick move”. Give yourselves a collective uppercut. *smh*

  • Though it’s not official, I wouldn’t be surprised if they let her go for the pedophile stuff.
    It might not have been recent (5 years ago) but it was still on her twitter, her same twitter where she happily advertised herself as a Nintendo employee.

    I think that last paragraph is a bit silly. Oooh, the swift negative response to the firing! By who? The tiny sliver of the pie we call the vocal minority? A handful of people on Reddit, 4chan and Twitter (the latter of which is the worst site on the internet by far)? Nintendo doesn’t care about them. They care about the opinion of the Johns and Janes Smith, the people who buy Nintendo’s products for themselves or their kids. If you ask them “Was Nintendo wrong to fire a pro-pedophilia employee?” they would say no, because it sounds nasty.

  • Just to update – Turns out Rapp’s second job was an actual prostitute. So while the argument over the legality of prostitution is not suitable for Kotaku, I’m sure we can see why Nintendo decided that it was not good to have a proffesional on staff in a public PR position to moonlight as a prostitute. I have noticed that most media places have not updated their reporting on this and kind of ‘left it’ at her dismissal was due to harassment. I think Kotaku should at least update the article with this information.

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