BioWare Supports Beleaguered Writer

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maddawg IAJI:
I want intelligent and mature adults working for me, not a bunch of 5 year olds who argue with other 5 years olds about who called who what.

It wasn't an argument, it was a casual and well-deserved dismissal of idiots, which BioWare, to its credit, is standing behind.

There's an unfortunate tendency among some people to equate "I gave you money for your product" with "I get to treat you as horribly and abusively as I want," and an equally unfortunate tendency among many companies to accept it. But just because some people are willing to eat shit doesn't mean everyone is, and that doesn't make it wrong when someone puts the foot down and says "enough."

Staskala:
Remember when the escapist blah blah

And yet here you are.

maddawg IAJI:
I'm not gonna question Helper's ability to write in this thread, I will however question not only her's, but Aaryn Flynn's response to it. Flynn, in defense of her told several people to fuck off and called them 'fucking morons' (He didn't even have the hindsight to delete the tweets.) and Helper believes that the hate stems from jealousy and hate toward her career and vagina for some reason :/ I really wish I was making that up too. I don't care what the fuck anyone does to you. You're representing a business and if you're gonna throw a hissy fit like that as soon as someone insults you, you should be fired ASAP, especially if you're gonna start PR nightmares like Flynn did.

Not only that, but if you're in the entertainment business, regardless of position, isn't one of the key rules to 'think before speaking?' I don't know why she was surprised at the outrage. Gamers getting mad because you believe that skipping the part of the medium that defines it would be best? Who would have guessed! If you don't like the gameplay, you're working for the wrong industry.

With respect I entirely disagree with this post. Some people seem to have trouble distinguishing between public and private channels and the importance of the individual vs. corporate representation.

Firstly: I appreciate that with the sort of connectivity we have today the line is blurry; with all sorts of social networks being used in both a professional and private capacity. If this had taken place on the official Bioware forums I would agree with you on the inappropriateness of her comments. However, the verbal abuse she is receiving on her personal Twitter account is clearly directed at her person. You can't seriously think that someone has no right to act out when pushed like that, purely because they have a certain notoriety (mainly due to this bizarre scenario) and work for a well-known company. Miss Hepler is not a PR professional nor an official spokesperson for the company she works for. She is a writer and is entitled to defend herself however she sees fit to vitriol like this.

Secondly: Customer service and representing something bigger than yourself is fine... up to a point. In any human interaction there has to be a mutual respect. If people are acting like animals then I'm afraid, yes, there are limits. For example I work in the hotel industry. I'm pretty good at it - I'm personable, friendly and good at making people feel relaxed and important. I manage to iron out the majority of issues and complaints in a way that makes clients feel appreciated, without bankrupting the hotel in the process. This takes tact certainly. So I'll take a little crap, especially during the time it takes for people to settle down and realize that you're handling their problem. But very occasionally you get some ***t who isn't looking for a solution but either a way to exercise some illusion of power over others or to exploit an angle.

If that guy or gal starts hurling insults and personal abuse at me (or any of my staff) they will quickly find life becoming a lot more difficult for them. If they refuse to show some restraint they will be ejected from the premises. There is no one client who is more important than everyone else. Now if that same person calls me on my private number or approaches me on the street then I'ill tell them in no uncertain terms where they can stick their abuse and will happily call the police if they don't give it a rest. If they come to my home and talk trash in front of my wife and kids... then that guy will be eating his own teeth, I don't care if he's fucking Bono or Donald Trump. Nothing gives you the inherent right to shit on other people.

The internet generation, and gamers in particular, have become far too complacent in their anonymity and the level of respect they're prepared to show another human being. The assumption that supposed pr restraints and this entitled "customer is always right" attitude gives them license to behave however they wish should quite rightly be met head-on.

Andy Chalk:

Staskala:
Remember when the escapist blah blah

And yet here you are.

Certainly not because of you. By the way, it's very impressive how mature you handle this. Maybe you should apply for a position in Bioware's PR department? You'd fit right in.
In all seriousness though, how will anyone ever take gaming seriously when its PR people and "journalists" behave like this? Unlike the angry internet mob these people stand in the spotlight and affect public opinion much more.

Great. BioWare has truly fallen. Jennifer Hepler is supporting the death of truly excellent games. LOL Why not put in a fast forward button? Who cares about good and deep challenges?

Andy Chalk:

maddawg IAJI:
You're representing a business and if you're gonna throw a hissy fit like that as soon as someone insults you, you should be fired ASAP, especially if you're gonna start PR nightmares like Flynn did.

I disagree and fortunately, so does BioWare. Some people - like the people who started all this - deserve nothing more than a casual "fuck you" and perhaps a ban from whatever forum they've infested. "The customer is always right" is a lie; sometimes the customer is a piece of shit and needs to be told about it.

Quoted for truth. Spent 25 mins replying to this guy and two comments down you encapsulate it rather efficiently ;)

UnderGlass:

maddawg IAJI:
I'm not gonna question Helper's ability to write in this thread, I will however question not only her's, but Aaryn Flynn's response to it. Flynn, in defense of her told several people to fuck off and called them 'fucking morons' (He didn't even have the hindsight to delete the tweets.) and Helper believes that the hate stems from jealousy and hate toward her career and vagina for some reason :/ I really wish I was making that up too. I don't care what the fuck anyone does to you. You're representing a business and if you're gonna throw a hissy fit like that as soon as someone insults you, you should be fired ASAP, especially if you're gonna start PR nightmares like Flynn did.

Not only that, but if you're in the entertainment business, regardless of position, isn't one of the key rules to 'think before speaking?' I don't know why she was surprised at the outrage. Gamers getting mad because you believe that skipping the part of the medium that defines it would be best? Who would have guessed! If you don't like the gameplay, you're working for the wrong industry.

With respect I entirely disagree with this post. Some people seem to have trouble distinguishing between public and private channels and the importance of the individual vs. representation.

Firstly: I appreciate that with the sort of connectivity we have today the line is blurry; with all sorts of social networks being used in both a professional and private capacity. If this had taken place on the official Bioware forums I would agree with you on the inappropriateness of her comments. However the verbal abuse she has received has been on her personal Twitter account and has been clearly directed at her person. You can't seriously think that someone has no right to act out when pushed like that. Purely because they have a certain notoriety (mainly due to this bizarre scenario) and work for a well-known company. Miss Hepler is not a PR professional, nor an official spokesperson for the company she works for. She is a writer and is entitled to defend herself however she sees fit to vitriol like this.

Secondly: Customer service and representing something bigger than yourself is fine: up to a point. In any human interaction there has to be a mutual respect. If people are acting like animals then I'm afraid that, yes, there are limits. For example I work in the hotel industry. I'm pretty good at it - I'm personable, friendly and good at making people feel relaxed and important. I manage to iron out the majority of issues and complaints in a way that makes clients feel appreciated, without bankrupting the hotel in the process. This takes tact certainly but also taking command and showing people they matter. Now I'll take a little crap, especially during the time it takes for people to settle down and realize that you're handling their problem. But very occasionally you get some ***t who isn't looking for a solution but a way to exercise some illusion of power over others or to exploit an angle.

Now if that guy or gal starts hurling insults and personal abuse at me (or any of my staff) then they will very quickly find life becomes a lot more difficult for them. If they refuse to show some restraint then they will be politely ejected from the premises. There is no one client who is more important than everyone else. Now if that same person calls me on my private number or approaches me on the street then I will tell them in no uncertain terms where they can stick their abuse and will happily call the police if they don't give it a rest. If they come to my home and talk trash in front of my wife and kids... then that guy will be eating his own teeth, I don't care if he's fucking Bono or Donald Trump. Nothing gives you the inherent right to shit on other people.

The internet generation, and gamers in particular, have become far too complacent in their apparent anonymity and the level of respect they are prepared to show another human being. The assumption that supposed pr restraints and this entitled "customer is always right" attitude gives them license to behave however they wish must quite rightly be met head-on.

1) Normally you'd be right. However, this aren't twitter and facebook accounts that are solely used for one or the other. Both Flynn and Helper created their Twitter accounts as a way to interact with the fans, like several other people, they're accounts are monitored by fans for news about upcoming games. They're 'personal' twitter accounts are also 'commercial' accounts and while they are not the 'offical' accounts for the company and they should be held accountable for their actions.

2) The problem with your example is that you still show professionalism in that scenario. You're still being polite, you're still acting like an adult. Flynn and Helper didn't do that and they don't deserve sympathy because of it. Tell me, do you call those trouble making customers 'fucking morons'? When they continue to push your buttons, do you simply tell them to 'fuck off'? No, I don't believe you do.

First rule of the Internet, don't feed the trolls.

Staskala:

Andy Chalk:

And yet here you are.

Certainly not because of you.

Why, then?

Eh...I find myself hard to get too worked up over either side.

She's the exact opposite kind of person that ought to be writing for video games as she clearly doesn't want to write for, or play, video games; She wants to write for and watch movies/film/non-interactive entertainment. But I know she's in a ridiculously tiny minority that nobody in their right mind should give a shit about. Thus, I do not give a shit about her opinion.

AND THEN ON THE OTHER HAND

Reddit, on the surface, have said some pretty mean things that your average person (who is either totally thick-skinless or just ignorant of Net culture) would see as utterly soul-destroying and harsh. In some cases they'd be right (death threats for example), but the "the cancer destroying bioware"-esque things are little more than exaggerated in-joke phrases that circulate the net that should roll off someone's back as easily as "You mad bro?" should roll off.

Put simply, I agree with Reddit's thoughts, but not all their speech and I think she's received too much hatred but its not without merit.

Good work gamers, way to make us all look like a bunch of immature pricks.

If you participated in this unjustified hate against that woman YOU are the disease infecting our pastime.

Y'know what I like about the Escapist forums?
It's that the majority of users will know and -understand- that those people attacking Hepler were childish and fucking stupid, but that won't stop us from arguing about the details.

(half sarcasm, I suppose, I only noticed after writing).

Andy Chalk:
Here's my blanket response to everyone who says that Hepler brought this on herself, at least in part, because she dared to respond to her attackers:

"I get to have both a vagina AND a games industry job, and they can't get either" is a fucking EPIC zing, and I suspect that many of you are angry that she was able to lay it down so easily and effectively with a single line of text.

Ha haha, no... No it's not really. It's a shit comeback, and pretty much why the whole twitter thing started. Besides, if she was as good of a writer as she says she is, she would have been able to do something besides @support How do I delete my account. You want some good zings? You should have seen some of the Statler and Waldorf stuff about her. Or hell, even

@support how do I delete my account?
@BrandesHepler Submit a decent plot to twitter

There's more than one side to the story you know. Yes the mob of angry people are twitter is vicious and unruly, but that's what happens when you make a career out of being crap, then taunt other people about it.

I love how they donated $1,000 to a charity too. Not only is it chump change to them, it basically says "Waah, a grown woman got bullied on the internets. Won't someone think of the children?"

Andy Chalk:

Excedrin:
No, I'm not in the least saying that. You quoted a small portion of my post and then asserted that I was saying it. No one deserves to be attacked like this and the culpability primarily rests on the people who are actually doing the attacking. However, yes, not keeping that opinion to herself was a stupid move and it's not crazy to expect the internet to react in such a way. I'm not saying that serves as any sort of justification, so please don't misconstrue my post in a way that suggests that. Thank you.

The implication seems pretty clear to me - expressing a "controversial" opinion is an invitation to trouble. And yes, the internet being what it is, that's true, but that doesn't make it right and it doesn't make it in any way justifiable. It's like a cop saying that a woman deserved to be raped because she dressed like a slut.

I'm not picking on you, I don't think that you personally are all that's wrong with the internet, but opinions about Hepler's work aren't relevant to the matter at hand. We're not talking BioWare or Dragon Age (and believe me, I'm no Dragon Age fan), we're talking about calling a woman a "cancer," an "obese cunt" and worse because she doesn't like videogames the way we like videogames.

That's just plain wrong, man.

It's not an implication, it's a damned statement. It doesn't justify the actions of those attacking her, but when you say something controversial you will get haters. Period, done. I'm sorry if this wasn't abundantly clear. There was no implying. Acting flabbergasted when you do get haters displays a lack of basic understanding about human nature.

But yeah, I never supported any of that and I again do not appreciate your misrepresentation of my post. I said EXACTLY what you just said in your first paragraph. Here, I'll quote the good bit.

Excedrin:
I'm not saying that serves as any sort of justification, so please don't misconstrue my post in a way that suggests that. Thank you.

I'm too lazy to go back to my very first post, but I also said that there's no excuse for personally insulting, rather than (constructively) criticizing, Hepler. I even did it at the beginning of the post. This story that you're crafting out of my posts, that I think she got what was coming to her because of what she said, is just not based in fact. She did nothing to deserve it. If I go tell someone on the street that they're ugly and they punch me in the face, the person who punched me is the problem child but that doesn't make me calling him ugly any less stupid.

Look, I know you're a contributor and your heart is probably in the right place, but if you can't respond to my actual posts without resorting to utterly misrepresenting what I'm saying then let's save ourselves trouble and not bother having this conversation. YOU are talking about the people saying bad things and how horrible they are. I'm not even disagreeing with that, I said explicitly in the quote you posted yourself that it doesn't justify their actions.

A large portion of my post was about how conceited it is, to try to bend an entire medium to your desires so that you have a broader audience without any regard for that medium. This is why we've been writing books for thousands of years, you can tell a story without using a video game as your medium. You can say that its not relevant, but since its the comment that has so many riled up I think discussing it in this thread is about a relevant as it gets. It was just, frankly, a stupid comment made by someone who admittedly doesn't even care about the medium of video games. It is understandable why someone would take issue with that, but indefensible how they went about taking issue with it. I doubt you'd be in such a tizzy as this if everyone expressed this opinion as I have. If you find even my posts insulting, well, I don't know what to say. I feel like I've been as respectful as I possibly can be.

It's fine to disagree with her opinions and writing, but isn't this taking it a bit too far? I can't say I'm a fan of her work, but I'm not about to go out of my way to act like an angry child over it.

Soviet Heavy:
You seem to have missed the part where she fanned the flames by retorting to her detractors. Honestly, this is a situation where I just hate everyone involved. Responding to torrents of bile with the phrase "I just figure they're jealous that I get to have both a vagina AND a games industry job, and they can't get either." is just asking for trouble.

THIS!

I mean, what the fuck is she doing being a game writer if she hates playing games anyway? That's like being a script writer for movies but you hate -watching- the movies.

Hepler needs to resign because she quite clearly doesn't know how to do her job right. Don't specialize in something you hate and then make retarded statements that are virtually guaranteed to earn you hate and then act like a spoiled 1%.

I swear it's like aristocracy...

Staskala:
I very much doubt that there are many people on this site who welcomed the switch from actual journalism to mere content aggregating.

And yet everyone didn't leave or maybe they just stayed so they could read all the articles then complain about them (I'm actually proposing that as a possibility based on what I see in the threads).

Remember when the escapist brought things like this? Source work, interviews, investigation, journalism!

Yeah I do miss those, the feature articles we get can still be quite good though.

Now it's just copy-pasting things from other news sites, maybe spiced up with a bit of inflammatory commentary.

That's what I like actually. Most of the writers have personality so I get my info and a good read. I never said I consider this the best news site, I come here for entertainment and information. They're might be better sources of news but the Escapist has the best hats.

The only interesting things that remain are the occasional columns, replacing the "issues" of old, usually from third-party writers and that's it.

And all of the featured content like the videos, the columns(Extra Punctuation, Big Picture) and webcomics (though I wish they'd do more of those). They've clearly gone more in an entertainment direction. Nothing wrong with that.

By the way, this would be a column, adding useless commentary to news stories is not. Columns are commentary on current events or trends by a columnist, not news articles spiced with commentary. No reputable publication would ever dream of mixing opinion pieces with news. What you see here is just tabloid-style reporting, nothing more and maybe even less.

Tabloids aren't actually inherently bad they just get a bad reputation, usually because of practices the journalists engage in and the kind of stories they tell. Phone tapping and upskirt shots of Katy Perry are bad, giving news and an opinion in a publication that has a focus on entertainment is not as long as they also deliver the facts. Honesty is important in presenting news, once you have that there's no reason the writer can't give his opinion on the story.

Ickorus:
Good work gamers, way to make us all look like a bunch of immature pricks.

If you participated in this unjustified hate against that woman YOU are the disease infecting our pastime.

Um, This.

Yes her insult(comeback) was incendiary and hilarious to boot but she really didn't deserve the treatment she received. I understand that people can be passionate however that was misogyny for the sake of it. These are the same kids playing COD and screaming at every female player to "get back to the kitchen" as far as I'm concerned.

AnythingOutstanding:
Great. BioWare has truly fallen. Jennifer Hepler is supporting the death of truly excellent games. LOL Why not put in a fast forward button? Who cares about good and deep challenges?

Where are you getting this shit?

Atlas13:

There's more than one side to the story you know. Yes the mob of angry people are twitter is vicious and unruly, but that's what happens when you make a career out of being crap, then taunt other people about it.

I love how they donated $1,000 to a charity too. Not only is it chump change to them, it basically says "Waah, a grown woman got bullied on the internets. Won't someone think of the children?"

I've read some truly stupid shit in my tenure on this forum but this takes the cake.

I know this is going to be a shock but a lot of people don't think she's made her career out of "crap"

Not liking something doesn't give you the right to defame the person who created it.

And she's fucking totally justified in taunting the people attacking her. The best part, her analysis of them was spot on for probably 90% of the cases.

And that second part about them giving money to charity? They gave money to charity. Who the fuck cares what their motives were.

One more point to address a comment I've seen several make. That since she isn't interested in gameplay she should just write in a different industry or be less involved in the development.

Why?

First of all I don't think she's currently involved in gameplay design, just story. Second of all I don't think somebody needs to like playing games to write for them. For a lot of people having a passion for something and writing for them doesn't always turn out to be all that great.

See fanfiction

maddawg IAJI:

UnderGlass:

maddawg IAJI:
snip

snip

1) Normally you'd be right. However, this aren't twitter and facebook accounts that are solely used for one or the other. Both Flynn and Helper created their Twitter accounts as a way to interact with the fans, like several other people, they're accounts are monitored by fans for news about upcoming games. They're 'personal' twitter accounts are also 'commercial' accounts and while they are not the 'offical' accounts for the company and they should be held accountable for their actions.

2) The problem with your example is that you still show professionalism in that scenario. You're still being polite, you're still acting like an adult. Flynn and Helper didn't do that and they don't deserve sympathy because of it. Tell me, do you call those trouble making customers 'fucking morons'? When they continue to push your buttons, do you simply tell them to 'fuck off'? No, I don't believe you do.

First rule of the Internet, don't feed the trolls.

Yes and no. This is what I meant, Hepler's and Flynn's Twitter accounts by no means constitute an official channel of Bioware news and updates even if fans do follow them. Very few Twitter accounts do - regardless of who's operating them. Again, people think just because someone is known then they can behave like baboons.

Someone could very easily find out my address from my name, it's public information. But if they start sending me violent abuse or come up to me on the train then I'm afraid the gauntlet has been thrown and the gloves are off. In my example there is a difference between my official workplace (ie. Bioware forums ; Edmonton offices etc.) and say a confrontational and personal attack in a public arena (twitter). Apologies if the analogy was unclear. The attacks have nothing to do with people's grievances over professional issues and everything to do with telling this poor woman what a cunt she is and how she should go die.

In response to your question if I were copping the kind of abuse Hepler has endured, to my face, over a period of time and other means of removing the aggression were unavailable: I would have absolutely no qualms telling them what a fucking moron they were. Workplace or no. I deserve better than that.

AnythingOutstanding:
Great. BioWare has truly fallen. Jennifer Hepler is supporting the death of truly excellent games. LOL Why not put in a fast forward button? Who cares about good and deep challenges?

It wouldn't get rid of the challenges it would just give people who can't get by the challenge more use out of their game than a $60 frisbee.

Videogames are the only narrative form in the world where you have to be "good enough" to watch the narrative unfold. Some games have already implemented a system like that, L.A. Noire lets you skip action sequences you keep failing at. Videogames are getting more and more complex as they develop and for a lot of people that's a sticking point. It's why I'm an advocate of casual gaming, it's another way for people to climatise themselves to gaming. The example I give is Goldeneye on the N64. Before that I never played an FPS. I always played RPGs and platformers and the idea of controlling my perspective and my movement at the same time was difficult. I didn't have the necessary muscle memory or whatever you want to call it to mess around with more than one directions system at the same time. I stuck with it and got the hang of it but a lot of people just don't have the time or the inclination that a seven year old me had.

In what way does it affect you or me that there can be a system in place for people who can't complete the challenge to just move on, maybe replay it later when they've improved? They're still is the challenge, there's just away around it. For some people videogames are actually just a form of entertainment, not a way of proving you're the best EVAR! Some incredibly long sequences in DA:O got boring for me, I stuck with it because I love the game but a huge part of the reason I loved the game was the story. Yet here I was doing something that at times wasn't incredibly fun just so I'd be allowed continue the story.

Loonerinoes:
Just a little note to all of you people, who were gleefuly a part of this little campaign (and I know you guys will come visit this to see this, heck you probably won't be able to resist responding to this post I bet considering what an utter lack of self-control you have)

Jennifer Hepler is not the cancer killing Bioware. Nor is that retarted Bioware 'story chart' you people keep posting around on message boards to pump your own egoes. Nor is it your slavering obedience to certain alternative gaming companies, whose stories are, by the way, by now just as predictable as those of Bioware's only that you choose to be willfully blind to this reality because you happen to love their 'alternative' and 'edgy' tropes moreso.

You want to know who the real cancer of Bioware right now is? It's 'fans' like you. Self-entitled 'fans' with nothing better to do but cry about 'back-in-the-day'.

Now reply to this post to 'prove me wrong' again and, in doing so, totally validate my own point. Go on...everyone loves to see you 'fight the good fight' for the 'back-in-the-day' Bioware (which, by the way, never existed because you missed the real strong point of their stories to begin with). Everyone loves to see you argue on forums after all...because you are a joke of the biggest kind. Especially when you resort to desperate primitivism, such as this, and completely prove the opposite point right - that Bioware's spirits, for whatever faults it does indeed have and has had since Baldur's Gate, still lives.

And if you still think that isn't the case (as I know you don't), then think on how Muzyka's response to yours makes you look like anything but 'intelligent' and anything but as rational as the fictional state of Bioware's old stories that existed nowhere else but in your own deluded heads.

Damn I love you. I don't care who you are. I love you. Just needed to say that.

Okay, so a writer admits that she doesn't like playing video games because she can't play them? Would people just think about this for a second? Play a game you suck at. Doesn't matter which one provided you suck at it. Now try finding that enjoyable.

Fine. She can dislike video games for that. It would be an ENTIRELY different point if she had said she hated video games for the reasons Jack Thompson does, in which case you'd have to question as to why on earth they'd work in the games industry...

So basically she said that she enjoys games as a form of interactive storytelling, but does not like the actual gameplay parts. I may be showing my age a bit here, but this used to be an entire genre in gaming when CD-Roms were new (it was drowned out because most of them were shit). It's also the entire crux of the games-as-art thing.

It's like saying you like tabletop role-playing for the communal storytelling, but don't like the number crunching needed for every combat; what she said isn't even a criticism of gaming really, just saying that she likes the part of it SHE WORKS ON AS A JOB better than the parts some other people enjoy. This has always been a part of the gaming crowd; it's why easy mode exists. The easy mode in the newest Deus Ex was even called "Tell Me a Story", and no-one seemed to mind that.

What I find most odd is that people are blaming her for the homosexual romances in Mass Effect 3 (which have been present in all other Bioware games since Juhanni in KOTOR) instead of the fact that ME3 will actually implement her idea as an optional game mode.

So basically she said that she enjoys games as a form of interactive storytelling, but does not like the actual gameplay parts. I may be showing my age a bit here, but this used to be an entire genre in gaming when CD-Roms were new (it was drowned out because most of them were shit). It's also the entire crux of the games-as-art thing.

It's like saying you like tabletop role-playing for the communal storytelling, but don't like the number crunching needed for every combat; what she said isn't even a criticism of gaming really, just saying that she likes the part of it SHE WORKS ON AS A JOB better than the parts some other people enjoy. This has always been a part of the gaming crowd; it's why easy mode exists. The easy mode in the newest Deus Ex was even called "Tell Me a Story", and no-one seemed to mind that.

What I find most odd is that people are blaming her for the homosexual romances in Mass Effect 3 (which have been present in all other Bioware games since Juhanni in KOTOR) instead of the fact that ME3 will actually implement her idea as an optional game mode.

Excedrin:
Look, I know you're a contributor and your heart is probably in the right place, but if you can't respond to my actual posts without resorting to utterly misrepresenting what I'm saying then let's save ourselves trouble and not bother having this conversation.

Your second and third paragraphs speak for themselves - if she didn't want trouble with the internet, she should have kept her mouth shut. In an interview about her preferences in gameplay, no less. I really don't see where I'm misconstruing anything.

Spot1990:
Except that's not what she said, what she said was she wished there was an option to skip difficult gameplay sections, something some games actually do.

She never should have been insulted in the first place and when people start spamming your Twitter feed with hate that means it's no longer a professional issue. People started insulting her as a person in the online equivalent of approaching her in the street and hurling abuse and she responded in kind.

Humm, tree things:

- The "I prefer" part alluded to it being optional. Certainly in her post there is nothing as authoritarian as "Videogames should have no gameplay".

- She never said difficult, managing an inventory or reading a map is never difficult so actually that proves difficulty is not part of the issue. She simply doesn't like the interactive parts of the game which are not totally related to the game story, which is fine, it's her opinion however dumb i think it might be.

- I would say it's more akin to Elton John going to a love parade and then saying "Gay sexual orientation is fine, but I rather have it with zero physical contact. I don't like all that kissing and penetration stuff, cuddling is the most I like". Why? Because she works in the videogame industry giving an interview to a videogame specialized media directed specifically at videogamers saying that the "game" part of the videogames is what she likes less about videogames. She actually knew it was a horrible answer, don't know why she said that anyway.

Anyway, I have no issue with her work or her position at Bioware. I remember the plots she was involved in DA:O and they were good, if a little generic; and after DA2 and ToR (I couldn't even finish DA2 due the boredom), ME:3 is the last game i will be playing from that company until I see a great improvement in the "ambient", "content" and "game" part of their videogames.

What dissapoints me is that a company that was famous for the narrative in their games is this passionless about good writing in videogames; it sure is very nice to see them supporting their staff, but it's sad to see them employing writers that doesn't love videogames, because without the writers loving the game part of videogames you can certainly do good narratives, but not great ones, narratives that really exploit the advantages in storytelling of a videogame to create a truly brilliant videogame story (maybe even video game history), flashes of this can be seen from time to time, like the crash at the beggining of Bioshock, the opera house event on FF VI, the companion cube in portal, some fights on SotC off the top of my head.

TheKasp:
Yup, shows perfectly how people are capable of taking two quotes and saw them together to put words in the mouth of the woman which she never said.

If you don't understand me: SHE NEVER SAID THAT!

As you can see, this is a reply to Andy's post, which also has stuff SHE NEVER SAID (at least not in her infamous interview), so I assumed we were posting our interpretation to her written words, not a direct quote. Was that unreasonable? If so, why mine is the only unreasonable of the two?

Cid SilverWing:
I mean, what the fuck is she doing being a game writer if she hates playing games anyway?

At what point did she say she hates playing videogames?

Go ahead and look it up, get back to me when you find it. I'll wait.

Brad Shepard:
I heard about her new book, how piss poor it is, plus she wrote some really bad parts of DA:O and I just have to say this, the fact that they are adding male homosexuality in the last installment of Shepard's story seems very off if you ask me.

Honestly, I don't particularly care what sort of sexual preference based content they feel the need to include in the game, I just wish they'd base it on selecting a sexual orientation of your character up front. If I choose my Shepard to be a heterosexual, then simply don't show any of the dialog options leading to those outcomes,

And as for the quote about her thinking a fast forward button to skip combat would be great... Isn't that what books are for? If you skip dialog, you still have a game. If you skip combat, you have rather weirdly cut movie with a choose your own adventure element.

But to be fair, I'd love that with The Old Republic. I don't hate the game, but my primary interest in it is the storyline, not the rest of it. So sure, if I could just skip through the fights and read the story, that'd be great. And I'm sure her employers would just love the impact that option has on the subscription base when people like me flip through the story and end payments.

Some Criticism is in Order. Many People are looking for new Ways to get Narrative acrosswith the Gameplay as opposed to the "old" way, gameplay->Cutscene with exposition dump -> gameplay.
One can deliver narrative through the Atmossphere in the Game, the Artstyle, Ambient sounds and so on. You'll need to see if and what of your Narrative is lost when the Player is distracted by Gameplay.

You will not be able to discover new Ways in which to tell a Story when you don't play the Games. Bioware may want someone who loves Games to write for their Games.

The "skip Combat" Feature might be an Idea as soon as you can convey narrative in a dialogue scene as easily as you can in Combat. For now its not a very good idea. I can think of many ways in which many Dialogues may have gone in another Direction. I can think of many Scenes in which i immediately thought "why didn't they think of telling the other Character this or that which would have solved the Problem in a Minute?".
When we can actually converse with NPCs, then we may want to skip the Combat. Possibly.

This is my Critique and wether you agree with it or not, you may have noticed that i didn't call her any Names. I attacked the Basis of her Ideas and explained why they aren't very good.

Tanakh:

Spot1990:
Except that's not what she said, what she said was she wished there was an option to skip difficult gameplay sections, something some games actually do.

She never should have been insulted in the first place and when people start spamming your Twitter feed with hate that means it's no longer a professional issue. People started insulting her as a person in the online equivalent of approaching her in the street and hurling abuse and she responded in kind.

Humm, tree things:

- The "I prefer" part alluded to it being optional. Certainly in her post there is nothing as authoritarian as "Videogames should have no gameplay".

- She never said difficult, managing an inventory or reading a map is never difficult so actually that proves difficulty is not part of the issue. She simply doesn't like the interactive parts of the game which are not totally related to the game story, which is fine, it's her opinion however dumb i think it might be.

- I would say it's more akin to Elton John going to a love parade and then saying "Gay sexual orientation is fine, but I rather have it with zero physical contact. I don't like all that kissing and penetration stuff, cuddling is the most I like". Why? Because she works in the videogame industry giving an interview to a videogame specialized media directed specifically at videogamers saying that the "game" part of the videogames is what she likes less about videogames. She actually knew it was a horrible answer, don't know why she said that anyway.

1.) So we're agreed on that anyway.

2.) Have you actually read the quote?

I came into the job out of a love of writing, not a love of playing games. While I enjoy the interactive aspects of gaming, if a game doesn't have a good story, it's very hard for me to get interested in playing it. Similarly, I'm really terrible at so many things which most games use incessantly -- I have awful hand-eye coordination, I don't like tactics, I don't like fighting, I don't like keeping track of inventory, and I can't read a game map to save my life. This makes it very difficult for me to play to the myriad games I really should be keeping up on as our competition

Particularly the whole

I'm really terrible at so many things which most games use incessantly

and

This makes it very difficult for me to play to the myriad games I really should be keeping up on as our competition

She explicitly mentioned the difficulty thing.

Story is the most important part to her clearly, Jesus no one went this insane when No Right Answers argued this point. She says she enjoys the interactive nature of videogames. She says she is bad at common themes in games and this keeps her from playing them. How can you say reading a map is never difficult? For anybody? You know this for a fact? Despite the fact that she says she "can't read a game map to save [her] life"?

3. Even if the Elton John comparison wasn't totally asinine (being gay is not a job, and it'd be more like saying I like some aspects of being gay but not others, the way a lot of gays are tops or bottoms y'know?) Again where did she say that she disliked gameplay? She said she disliked having to play games when she's so very bad at them. Do you care if the scriptwriter of a film isn't also good at choreographing fight scenes or cinematography? She's the writer. As long as she loves the writing it doesn't matter a good god damn whether she actually likes playing videogames. Kinda like how most chefs tend to not eat big extravagant meals themselves. What she said was the thing she liked least about working in the industry is that she has to play videogames and she's really bad at them so that makes that hard to do.

Andy Chalk:
Why, then?

Yahtzee's column, some featured articles, Yahtzee's vids, lately Jim's vids, some friends i met through here, the comics and to post of forums in my freetime, in that order. I do dislike most of the editorial columnist here, but at least they are fun to talk to :D

AnythingOutstanding:
Great. BioWare has truly fallen. Jennifer Hepler is supporting the death of truly excellent games. LOL Why not put in a fast forward button? Who cares about good and deep challenges?

Well... to be fair BioWare gameplay has always been at most good, never excellent (MDK2 was closeish). If they have fallen is IMO because their write department has become complacent and their Art department seems to decide whether to work or just Copy paste and go to the pub based on a dice.

Spot1990:
Videogames are the only narrative form in the world where you have to be "good enough" to watch the narrative unfold. Some games have already implemented a system like that, L.A. Noire lets you skip action sequences you keep failing at.

While I think it's a step in the wrong direction... mhee, if more people would play them, then I am for it.

But... roflolz, you CAN'T be serious about videogames being the only narrative form where you have to be "good enough" to watch it unfold. Take an average person that only see summer bluckbusters, put him in his living room to see The Seven Seal or Un chien andalou or Ikiru or Luz Silenciosa (not to mention the really long and really slow ones), it is highly unlikely they watch it whole without a gun to their head, more less with pleasure, and even more that they get it; do that with la recherche du temps perdu, El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, Cicero's Oratioria for books, with atonal music or pre-classic music, with almost any ballet or postmodern "serious" theater. I don't know one narrative form where you don't have to be "good enough" to get it.

AnythingOutstanding:
Great. BioWare has truly fallen. Jennifer Hepler is supporting the death of truly excellent games. LOL Why not put in a fast forward button? Who cares about good and deep challenges?

This is the same as Guillermo del Toro who doesn't watch cutscenes, so what if a person doesn't like a part of what they are making? That is why they are not making that part, there are plenty of people who work with films, but don't watch movies, should we start claiming that the movie industry has collapsed and because of these people and they somehow orchestrated the death of these things?

How does a persons' opinion mean that gameplay is going down the toilet? It's not like she's a lead designer, and even if she was, she understands why gameplay is there, she personally doesn't like it. The best part with this second paragraph is I can swap out gameplay with anything else, like movies (for crew that don't watch them) books (for publishers who don't read them) and games (for people who don't play them) and prove your argument is incredibly flimsy.
There are also plenty of people throughout history who hated what they were doing but made great things, or hated each other and made great works.

Madman123456:
-snip-

Nooooo! I agree almost completely with the hamtaro furry fan! How the mighty have fallen ;)

JK of course, good post.

Darkmantle:

tzimize:

RedEyesBlackGamer:
As much as those people are fucking morons, he shouldn't have come out and said it. But yeah, it is cute that we want our community to be taken seriously when stuff like this is still happening.

I dont really see why she shouldnt have said it. Shes a writer. I know not all people like games, and I dont need them to. If she was in charge of gameplay on games and didnt like playing games, then we'd have a problem. But shes not. Tbh, I often feel like she does. If a game has a shit story, I often cba to play it. That said I can enjoy pure gameplay experiences too like binding of isaac or super meat boy.

People are just as the always are. Dumb. (for clarity, not referring to you, referring to the internet hate campaign).

That poster is referring to another bioware employee posting from his twitter account that the people attacking hepler were "fucking morons" it was not hepler herself.

Just clarifying, he wasn't talking about her story statement.

Ah.

Well, dont I look like a twat now.

Phew, at least its the internet, I'll be right at home. Thanks for clearing that up, and if the original poster sees this, feel free to ignore my comment completely.

Huh? Wait a minute. I thought the cancer that was killing BioWare was EA. I was misinformed!

StarCecil:

erttheking:

Brad Shepard:
What im saying is that has been in there sense game one, and im fine with that, but Male Shepard has had no homosexual options for the first two games, it feels shoehorned in.

Really? Funny, I seem to recall that romancing Tali with a Femshep was impossible in the second game but now is possible in the first game. So is that shoehorned in? And can you remind me why adding things to a game is bad? Do you just want something to stay the same forever? Also it was aliens only, which was cheating.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DiscountLesbians

By the way, you do know that it was originally going to be possible to romance Kaiden and Ashley in the first game right?

I think the point he was making was that from a storytelling perspective it feels rather awkward and forced for a male Shepard to be able to declare himself gay only after there have already been two games without a homosexual male option. Nothing against homosexual males, but it does seem forced and is quite obviously a meek attempt to appeal to fans who were upset at the lack of gay male options. Not a bad thing in and of itself, but the first two games in the series were devoid of anything that could hint at Shepard being gay (and the developers were actually somewhat insistent on that point).

So it seems like more: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SuddenlySexuality As opposed to real, good storytelling or a more natural flow to such characterization. Especially since there was absolutely no reference to a male Shepard being gay at all. At all.

And if Shepard actually had a set personality instead of being whatever the Hell the player wanted him to be, ranging anywhere from an asexual paladin of light to a nymphomaniac slash physcopath. As for there being no hints to Shepard being even possibly gay....hahahahahahahahaha...no

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