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Disclaimer: Please note due to recent circumstances I should include that the people represented in this piece do not reflect the views of TechRaptor and are not endorsed by this article.

Authors Note: The developers had a lot to say about this, so I have cut down many of their answers for length with their permission.

Following the recent controversy, where the International Game Developers Association wrongly labeled almost 11,000 people the worst offenders of online harassment, many have spoken out. TechRaptor decided to give a voice to developers to tell their stories.

“In addition to being labeled a harasser of women and other vile insanity, I am constantly told by many powerful organizations because I have spoken out about this, I will never have a career, I will never be promoted, I am finished, I am blocklisted, I am blacklisted. I feel like I have worked hard to overcome adversity [Gibbons is disabled]. I feel like perhaps I do have an interesting story. I feel like I should represent, to at least some degree, what indie game development is all about. I feel like, at the very least, we should live in a time where my game is limited only by its quality, not by my opinions or desire for an ethical industry?
Instead, I am told how privileged I am to experience all this by people who get hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund their attacks on me.”

Joshua Gibbons, developing Shadow Sol: The Reaper of Stars.

“So I had never heard about the IGDA until I saw a tweet from one of their twitter accounts questioning Intel over pulling ads from Gamasutra, and now there is this and their support of a poorly put together block list. The entire list is based on the idea of guilt by association and has hit many innocent bystanders some who have never heard of #GamerGate. With the ongoing situation, the IGDA could actually have tried to help bring this to a resolution by trying to get discussions between developers, journalists and more started but have instead decided to make this rift even bigger.
As a developer who is hopefully just getting started and has been placed on a block list by the IGDA and labelled as one of the “worst offenders in the recent wave of harassment” I don’t know why I would ever trust them or want to be associated with them, as a developer I don’t really see how they are helping developers with stupid ideas like this.”

Simon Bates, developing Kid Nebula

“I think they need to get off their high horses and stop being such a damn exclusive club where the only people they want in, are the people that fit their narrative. It’s been like that for a long time. I’ve been in the indie games scene for the better part of a decade and it’s always been that you have to play ball or you’re not welcome. 

IGDA is helping support a culture where game devs are scared to speak up because their so called ‘peers’ will do what they can to shut them out of the game dev industry just for not falling in line.”

KM, developer of Super Oppressed PPL

“To me, it now looks like a foolish crusade in a very sensitive time for gaming. IGDA is trying to demonize a huge slice of gamers and game developers who are asking for transparency and ethical practices in game Journalism, and what is worse, they are allegedly doing that in defense of women, minorities and LGBT communities. The number of people in GamerGate that support the role of women, minorities and LGBT in gaming is overwhelming, denying that does nothing to help those issues, on the contrary, it just radicalize the conflict.
Sometimes I wonder about the thousands of people shamed and attacked every day, branded as harassers and terrorists in the name of social justice and that, unlike me, had not the chance to feel the importance of those issues in their everyday life. I would argue that any big organization making a huge claim like that would be expected to do pass their claims through a decent amount of scrutiny before they are made public.

Simone Tanzi, Developer of Cupets.

“We’re shocked that the IGDA would so hastily endorse such a tool as the GGAutoBlocker List without properly researching the contents of that list or the algorithm it is built upon. We do not endorse or engage in harassment, yet by being on that list we have been labeled as such. IGDA should know how difficult it is already for indie developers to gain exposure and there are multiple developers on that list besides us. It’s a shame and reaching our audience just got a little harder.”

Kevin Gray, GravTechGames, developing NORA

” I believe that there are individuals who deserve to be blocked. There are trolls involved in both sides that are creating chaos and harassing others. These people should be blocked and I fully support everyone who does so.  But this list has already shown why a public block list is a bad idea. Innocent developers, consumers, and restaurant chains have been accused being “The worst of the worst harassers” without a chance to defend themselves. This is, at the very least, irresponsible and quite possibly, “Unethical”.

I follow twitter accounts from all walks of life to see the world from other points of view. I want to question my beliefs every single day because I don’t ever want to be blinded by them. I listen to voices that I don’t agree with all the time because I know they might say something worthwhile. I was lucky that I wasn’t following the wrong person this time. But what about next time the Elders deem someone a “Villain”. It’s bad enough worrying that a random HR person who decide arbitrarily to throw away my resume, but now the IGDA supports punishment without checking the facts? The truth is, I’m ashamed and downright furious at my industry right now”

– Anon Male Developer

“Let me just make this clear: I have been victim of harassment and verbal abuse myself. I have stood against any kind of harassment, often helped complete strangers emotionally, and sometimes, financially – on or offline. Because I KNOW how it feels to be truly harassed, shamed and oppressed, I’m doing my best to help people. I don’t consider myself a threat. Now I landed on a twitter block list for following individuals that are pro GG with the intention to get updates on the entire GamerGate [scandal]. How can you just go around and claim such horrible things?
Even moreso, how can you even add such a flawed blocklist to a professional site? Don’t you have to verify first before even consider adding it? This seems like pure recklessness. I appreciate that they took it down, but I fear the damage has already been done I don’t think an apology from the IGDA would even be able to fix the damage they have already done.

If you really care about inclusiveness in games, blacklisting should be out of the question. Rumor has it that “Women In Gaming”, a subdivision of the IGDA, has had its hands on creating that list. This really baffles me. People in GamerGate claim it’s about ethics. Antis are claiming they are bullying women out of gaming and gamedev. Maybe this is true for some toxic individuals that exist on both of these sides. But as a woman affected by the blocklist, I’m seriously starting to wonder who’s trying to bully who out of the industry.
I hope for the future that people will learn to deal with these things better. We must take ourselves as human, first and foremost. Everything else, like gender, sexual orientation, religion, should be secondary.”

–  Anon Female Developer

“The idea that we are to be labelled among the group of “worst harassers” is both baffling and insulting.
Its fascinating how in the name of progress and protection, they basically enter their own, protracted and essentially self-defeating form of harassment while we just try to make our game and share our thoughts.”

Developers of Gods and Idols.

“Quite honestly getting unfairly labeled is just another day in the office for us so we’ve made jest of it on Twitter, and it would be simply hilarious if the implications were not so worrying for less established developers, should this kind of practice become somehow acceptable. What makes it worse is that this endorsement came from an organization that claims to look out for the rights of developers and also to protect their freedom of speech.  

What they’ve done could potentially really hurt an innocent developer, the people they claim to protect, by branding them harassers and encouraging many of their potential customers to block them. Ultimately though when the dust has settled the people they will have hurt the most are themselves and the image of their organization. It’s not too late for them to own this mistake and come out with an unconditional apology to all those caught up in this, and I suspect many within the organization are not happy about how this was handled.”

Running with Scissors, developers of Postal

“The list is fundamentally flawed, IGDA had no business putting it on their site, which is clearly an endorsement by them despite what they might state. Their reaction to backlash from people not unhappy with their endorsement to the list is disappointing, and I’d like to see a full apology.  Contrary to popular opinion I believe that a properly curated, community driven, and much smaller list would be a good tool for the community and would help all involved in GamerGate”

Ashley Ross, developer of Still Free

“It’s really rather unprofessional to gather ten-thousand people on an unchecked list, developed by an extremely bigoted, biased, 3rd party individual, based on who they follow. But that’s not the part that upset me. Normally I wouldn’t mind in the slightest to be put on some type of auto block list. I’ve got really thick skin. The part that really made me mad was that they called me, and everyone else on the list “Twitter’s worst harassers”. That’s careless, reprehensible, and downright damaging to start-up indie developers, like myself. Libel like that could very well hamstring my company before it can get off the ground, and destroy the dream I’ve looked forward to accomplishing since I was 5 years old. Personally, I have never harassed anyone. The very idea that these people have such blatant disregard for the industry they’re supposed to be part of make my blood boil. To reiterate: it’s unprofessional, it’s low, it’s condemnable, and I’m never trusting these people again. One does not accuse thousands of people of being the worst harassers, and then walk away like they’re better than us. Like we deserve to be slandered. Despicable.”

Bastendorf, developer of Savage


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • JackDandy

    IGDA really got themselves in hot water with this one

  • Teutates

    thanks for the article georgina it was awesome 🙂 i hope idga really get burned by this not for myself but for the many (indie) devs that where also said to be worse oppressors

  • Patrick Howard

    I would really like to know what discussions they have at the moment inside of igda

  • Phil

    If we would ignore the sheer craziness of the idea behind this blocklist, the way it was executed shows extreme incompetence. And it’s an “International Game Developers Association”. And they wonder why “gamers are angry”.

    Fucking hell..

  • Miguel Leiva-Gomez

    I think it goes without saying: Support these games. I’m offering a free Mercedes SLK-320 to everyone who does.

    Take that last offer with a grain of salt.

  • It’s like after a few weeks of hiding inside their curated social media hangout, they forgot that the word ‘harasser’ meant something other than ‘person outside our clubhouse’.

  • Chicago_Joe_GG

    Why are the antis utterly incapable of going a week without shooting themselves in the foot?

    Is it because they are just that convinced that they are right or is it something else more nefarious? I don’t understand this behavior at all.

  • Jess

    I implore you to get in touch with @TinySubversions, a former IGDA employee.

    http://tinysubversions.com/2013/09/some-thoughts-on-the-igda-or-why-i-quit/

    He confirms they’re self serving and do nothing for developers. Also IGDA’s own data suggests devs would like a union.

  • Ryan Barrett

    Not only is this move INCREDIBLY knee-jerk and immature, it’s ridiculously inclusive – you can talk ethics all day and all night, but the second you start to say “our way or the highway” your club is now exclusive. I honestly think the good positive thing that could come out of this are more game dev-centric groups. Why does there only have to be one?

  • “I’ve been in the indie games scene for the better part of a decade and it’s always been that you have to play ball or you’re not welcome.”

    Kind of ironic, when you think about it.

  • Well, I’m sure discussions are hard to have when you’re too busy telling other people to check their privilege. I bet it’s a tough life.

  • I would imagine it has to do with three major factors:

    > Horse blinder tunnel vision for anything that doesn’t automatically fall in line with their beliefs, expectations and precious feelings

    > Haughty arrogance brought upon by having education and yet no sense of the scientific method, having a point to make with an aversion to facts and proof

    > A sense of ivory-tower entitlement that makes them feel that they should be right and just merely for having an opinion, and thinking they can back up their claims if they call someone a shitlord and have their minions dogpile the “offender”

    I mean, am I wrong?

  • It saddens me to read about innocent developers caught in the crossfire because of a knee-jerk reaction by the IGDA. They wanted to help stop harassment but with their actions, the IGDA has caused far more mental distress. I am disgusted to see that IGDA still hasn’t apologised for blanket labeling and libeling thousands of individuals. The lack of apology shows that they believe that they were in the right.

  • Doc Hammer

    For me, this would be like if the AMA called me a terrorist because I sat next a terrorist’s cousin’s neighbor on a bus once, and also the terrorist was just a gardener, not a terrorist at all. Wake up gamers and game devs! These people are determined to burn gaming to the ground. Do not let yourself be used as kindling.

  • Doc Hammer

    Sobbing incoherently doesn’t make for a very good discussion.

  • Leon MMA Coach

    Complete imbiciles for even considering a block list in the first place.

  • realgamer07

    Great article Georgina.

  • handsomejack47

    They have fully committed to the whole “ends justify the means” ideology. Even if the thing they’re doing or using to push their agenda is shady or wrong to everyone else, as long as it “feels” right to them, that’s all that matters. Case in point: the block bot that labeled freaking KFC as one of the worst harassers on the internet.

  • Jaaa… Laaa…

    All of these developers should just move in with Patricia Hernandez. That’ll get them some positive coverage.

  • handsomejack47

    The fact that the director of the iGDA said that they removed the bot “for now” from their website without offering an actual apology for even mentioning it in the first place tells me that they would have gladly endorsed it more, except that people got pissed at them for labeling everyone on that list as “one of the worst harassers online”. IGDA is only sorry that they got caught.
    Adding to it, the sheer arrogance of the whitelisting process angers me. It’s basically “yeah, we labeled you as one of the worst harassers online, now get on your knees and beg for our forgiveness”. Oh, and fun fact: if you DON’T beg for the forgiveness of the people in charge of whitelisting hard enough, you’re forced to keep the “worst harasser on the internet” tag on you for at least 90 days before you’re allowed to beg for their forgiveness again.

    tl;dr The IGDA dun goofed for using the block bot made by a convicted meth user who is an admitted shit stirrer.

  • Javier Vega

    The Colonel has return from the grave.

  • The Papist

    Well I know which devs I’ll be supporting.

  • They’re discussing how exactly they should coat the “revised” blacklist with honey when they present it again a few days down the line, is my guess.

  • Niwjere

    Boil the frog slowly, and it won’t try to jump out until it’s too late.

    Sayonara, IGDA. It hasn’t been a pleasure.

  • Jake Martinez

    George – this appears to be the only reporting like this into this incident at all. You’re doing a great service to everyone by giving voices to these people in print. *two thumbs up*

  • So the only difference between the blacklist’s creator and the rest of the IGDA is that she has been convicted, while they have not.

    (cue accusations of harassment)

  • magenta collins

    Well there is a lot of whining about IGDA here. But they don’t actually care. They don’t give a rats ass. So make them care. Don’t get mad, get even. Or roll around on the floor with your paws waving about pathetically in the air.

  • Jiří Dvořák

    All responsible people in IGDA should imidiately resign.

  • courier69

    At the very least they should apologize, especially to THEIR OWN CHAIRMAN.

    It’s cannibalism at this point. Wonder what he’ll do tomorrow at their meeting (assuming they’ll still allow him to go). ..

  • Red Lagoon

    I’m glad I never followed this silly disorganized organization!

  • Brad Sherard

    Paraphrased from several comment on twitter:

    “before buying a game, send a tweet to its devs to see if they block you. This will tell you if they autoblock people(presumably supporting IGDA). Devs like that probably don’t want your money either so we should oblige them.

    Gamergate has shown us that until now, it has been costly for devs to oppose all this corruption in the industry. They are blacklisted and silenced. Lets reverse that; lets make it cost more to support this cancer and lets reward and support those who speak out and fight back.”

  • Gregg Braddoch

    lol, I couldn’t help but notice one of the developers made a game called “Super Oppressed PPL” – It’s nothing short of amazing:
    http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/648268

    It really does show the nonsense of these politically correct idiots who think it is ok to mass ban opposing viewpoints. If anything, the very fact this developer got blacklisted at all, just demonstrates that his game (which is satire) isn’t too far off from reality.

  • Gregg Braddoch
  • Jake Martinez

    That references this piece. I think George beat him to it. I like Milo’s coverage, but I’m backing our Gamer Grrll on this one. 😀

  • Nervatel

    The link to https://twitter.com/scarletgameshow is broken, it was written with an extra “T” after scarlet

  • John

    Can’t believe that I’ve never heard of this site until now. I never even knew about this whole gamergate thing because i only read gaming news from kotaku & polygon. Although polygon did pissed me off because they banned me for speaking against that sarkeesian broad. And the fucked up thing is they actually made me mad about this whole gamergate thing, because i was like why the fuck are these gamers just preaching about hating women and harassing women for no reason, they can’t be that stupid. I thought that these stupid ass gamers just making us looks bad and they’re just making those feminist looks like the victim and they themselves as the villain. And boy I’ve never been so wrong in all my life.

    Well, this site will go in my bookmarks bar and no more kotaku and polygon for me. Any other honest gaming website out there that you guys could recommend? Thanks in advance.

  • tyren02

    There’s a fantastic list here: http://alternatives.gamergate.community/

    The problem for me has been finding the time to go through all of those sites and pick out the ones I like. Although I will recommend Niche Gamer and Powergamer.

    http://www.nichegamer.net/
    http://www.powergamer.co/

  • Gregg Braddoch

    Yeah, it does reference this piece, I think it was the first published.

    Here’s another one:
    http://www.designntrend.com/articles/27084/20141124/game-developer-association-indiscriminately-blocks-twitter-accounts-of-10-000-alleged-gamergate-supporters-including-kfc.htm

    Funny how the anti-gg crowd is still there trolling, despite the despicable nature of banning thousands of twitter accounts with no real basis for doing so.

    I swear that these corrupt journos could burn down the houses of some of these SJWs, pee on them to put out the fire, and they’d still think it was gamergate who was at fault.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    ^ This. Hell fucking yeah.

    Alot of the anti-gamergate peeps are like “you guys are worried about IGF and IndieCade rigging their competition? Seriously, look at the AAA titles, indie games corruption is meaningless.” (Or some ridiculous variation that pretends we only care about depression quest) But really, that is a major problem for Indie developers – when a game made with Twine wins awards over games that required actual skills to develop.

  • John

    Thanks!

  • Erthwjim

    Is there another organization like IGDA?They’re not only screwing themselves by what they do, but they’re also screwing potential indie games developers. They seem to be the most powerful and they get to pick the winners and losers in indie game development. If they were a government entity I’d call it Cronyism. Someone needs to get out there and create an alternative, an organization that isn’t so elitist in nature.

  • Thomas Fährmann

    because someone in the house i live has a criminal record i now must be a criminal too. I should have called for an investigation before the anonymous guy tried to move into the house and sent over all the details to the company that owned this building to make sure he will not get the flat. But i ignored this criminal persons record and now i´m guilty of a crime called “responsible ignorance”…the next time i see my neighbour i should ask him if he masturbates to porn. If he says yes i will call the police and sue him of sexistic behaviour towards “helpless” porn pictures that cant say NO!
    You should also ask the next sales person you come across if he ever dared to treat a woman badly. If he ignores you (doing his job) make a terrible scene and try to fire the guy because he is a sexist pig….no words always mean YES…
    You all know that IGDA shit is completely insane. Yes… they are! They are as insane as useless!
    There is only one way every “good” person in this industry can show that he has a brain and can use it (turned ON) for some common sense. Quit with the IGDA and appologize to every single one of the 10k because you are associated with this shit …. sounds familiar right ? Now do it!
    Man am i´m … i cant have real words for this nonsense and manhunt or witchhunt call it what you want but this is a GAMING HOBBY where people try to flee at times from the reality. Thats the big magic of gaming. People can dive into the realms of fantasy and entertainment and they have nothing better to do as destroy everything. Imagine you sit in a cinema and right in the climax some asshole comes around, turnes on the light and yells about social justice and equality! He will get lynched!

  • Nathan Clark

    It’s because they’re zealots. Be thankful for that, because it’s the main reason we got so far in only three months.

  • hots

    Since when did we ever need a game dev association? Last I checked game devs developed games, not ridiculous associations designed to bemoan gaming trends. According to the website it’s run entirely by volunteers, so at least they aren’t being paid to make that crazy junk.

  • Jeronimo

    Great article!
    Thank you Miss Young!

  • hots

    I buy games based on how the game looks/plays, I mostly don’t care about the misinformed views of one of the developers.
    Besides, aren’t very few Game devs the villains of gamergate? I thought it was almost entirely the circlejerking journos and sjw’s.

  • Shane Phillips

    I’d never even heard of the IDGA before GamerGate, and I’ve been gaming for 18 years, what is clear however is that what little credibility they did have will go down the pan very quickly with this move.

    At this moment in time it’s clear that these people don’t care about the games industry, independent developers, or women, all they care about is pushing their warped gender politics into the gaming industry at any cost.

    It’s time for more of the big players in the games industry to stand up to scumbags like these and tell them that they aren’t going to destroy our hobby.

  • Fenrir007

    Should have reached out for Brad Wardell and Daniel Vavra. I think they would have loved to speak about this.

    Anyway, great piece as usual, Georgina! Keep on trucking!

  • dsadsada

    It’s only because of their debacle with the blocklist that I even know that IGDA is a thing.

    What do they even do?

  • David Stevens

    I think it all comes down to the arrogance. These people probably think their shit is golden, so doing something like blocking people through guilt by association doesn’t even register in their minds as a terrible idea. It also doesn’t help that they live in echo chambers where every stupid idea that pops into their minds are reinforced by more idiots.

  • Kain Yusanagi

    Sobbing would require them to be sorry for their actions.

  • Kain Yusanagi

    Not to mention that the dev of the blocklist doxxes those who appeal.

  • Aeder

    It’s pretty funny how it’s called “International Game Developers Association” yet it caters only to US centric values and points of view. And not even mainstream points of view.

    Someone should make a new association, that promises to put game devs first, and leave agendas and Twitter drama to others.

  • This would be a bigger deal if IGDA was at least relevant. No one seems to know who they are even in the game industry. Their little hugbox won’t save them from mockery, though.

  • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

    looool

  • webkilla

    This just made my day. So many developers speaking out against anti-GG idiocy – this is beautiful!

  • Lars Anderson

    I think it’s safe to say, IGDA is a fucking joke and should no longer be taken seriously.