Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fuck Nintendo


Yesterday, Alison Rapp, a member of the marketing team at Nintendo, was fired. This is the same Alison Rapp who was targeted by GamerGate over two years ago and has endured the standard completely ridiculous harassment completely disproportionate to her imagined crimes. GamerGate accused her of being the one who decided to make some kind of change to some video game coming in from Japan. Not only was it not her decision, changes are made to video games imported from Japan all. The. Time. It's called localization. They have a whole department for that, as do many, many media companies. I've applied to that department.

But of course facts have never deterred GamerGate from being horrible and doing their utmost to ruin people's lives, especially if they're women. And yesterday, Alison Rapp announced that Nintendo had fired her after receiving an anonymous tip that she'd been doing some work outside of Nintendo for extra money. The company then fired her for “moonlighting.” Alison Rapp says that moonlighting is explicitly allowed by Nintendo, because why the fuck wouldn't it be? She's not doing something that could endanger people's lives if she's too tired to focus. And she wasn't giving away company secrets. Trust me, there's no actual secret to marketing.

So why fire her? Clearly, they were just looking for a reason. Nintendo's another big gaming company scared of online harassers and any negative publicity. This was made clear when they asked Alison Rapp not to talk about rape culture on her own, non-company Twitter account years ago and she refused. Thanks to GamerGate's relentless assholery and Nintendo's cowardice, she was shuffled to a less visible job in the company and now finally let go entirely.

You know, I live in the Seattle area. I love video games. I've loved Nintendo. I have actually applied for two jobs in Nintendo's marketing department – once as a localization writer and once as a standard creative writer. I got no response, but that was years ago. Since then, I've often thought about applying again, as ads for these jobs, especially for localization writers and editors, often pop up on the company's LinkedIn page. But I've hesitated time and time again.

I've actually turned away from my original desired career path, which was to work in games writing in some capacity. This is mostly due to my growing passion for feminism and general social justice, but in no small part because of the way I've seen the gaming industry and the gaming community treat women. I've become so disgusted at times with both that it made me wonder why the fuck they should deserve me, and why I would subject myself to that.

I could have been Alison Rapp. I've always vowed to myself that I would never stop vocally advocating for women and other oppressed persons because it might hurt the reputation of a company I was working for. Now I'm glad I never did get a writing job with Nintendo. They clearly don't care about women and they don't protect their workers from hate mobs. Fuck em'.

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