The revolting sexism of video gamers

Jennifer Hepler’s main fault is being an actual, normal woman

Jennifer Hepler, a writer of video game plot and dialogue for the Canadian studio BioWare, has broken the rules of her industry. Sorting out the specific transgressions involved in this controversy has become needlessly complicated: did Hepler break the rules by forcing players to endure gay role-playing in a dragon game? Did she break the rules by suggesting that players should be allowed to skip through gameplay to the next narrative sequence? Did she break the rules by not facing her critics, or by firing back at them?

The gaming community is hard at work sorting this out, but their inquisition is unlikely to face up to her true offenses: Hepler broke the rules of the gaming community by being a woman who is not a sexy virtual elf warrior, and by being a woman who does not just shut up.

I couldn’t help reading the appalling Twitter attacks on Hepler, but I wish I hadn’t. Consider skipping this, it’s not safe for work and very unpleasant. Uglier than the epithet-hurling trolls in my eyes are those gamers who turn a blind eye to the harassment while insisting that Hepler does indeed represent a dire threat to their beloved hobby—a “cancer” on gaming itself. Look for these deluded individuals ranting away on online comment sections, perhaps soon on this one.

Gripes with Jennifer Hepler’s story-centric thoughts on gaming must take a backseat to the real cancer on gaming that’s been revealed. Online gaming communities are often hateful, mostly towards women and homosexuals, and those who don’t participate in the hate tolerate it.

Jesse Brown is the host of TVO.org’s Search Engine podcast. He is on Twitter @jessebrown




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The revolting sexism of video gamers

  1. I’m an occasional poster to the Bioware forums, and I think its worth pointing out that there are a lot of posts both supporting Hepler and expressing disapproval of the morons who are posting this kind of abusive garbage.

    Sadly this isn’t a problem just with gamers, but with online behaviour generally, nor do I think it is necessarily anything to do with sexism* there are equally nasty things said about male athletes, by, I suspect, the same kind of people.

    *Which is not to say that video games don’t have issues with sexist characterizations of women – they do.

    • Which is not to say that privacy advocates aren’t actually in the same boat as child molesters – they are.

      It’s all so black and white, isn’t it?

  2. “Online gaming communities are often hateful, mostly towards women and homosexuals, and those who don’t participate in the hate tolerate it.”
    T,FTFY. Generally speaking, one thing about “online communities” one needs to remember is that John Gabriel’s Greater Internet ‘wad Theory is startlingly accurate in many cases.

    What’s scarier is that people would twit under their real names like that. Hope they realize a Google search tends to be part of a Job Application review these days.

    • It’s very accurate.

      Then again Hepler isn’t exactly the most enthralling writer of the Bioware team, and Bioware as a whole has been sliding downhill ever since they were bought out by EA.  So take that with a grain of salt.  But people have become much more aggressive and angry towards Bioware as whole, and it’s reflected on their forums because of the quality of their games and their downhill trend the last few years.

      • Thing is though, there’s probably lots of “gamers” that think Bioware’s last few games are fine and nothing is wrong. They’re not going to go post on the forums ’cause they’ve nothing to say in that regard. 

        Which is the problem with this article: it’s making the same mistake Brown knocked down about “The Internet” and attempting to catch all a group that’s not remotely uniform in behaviour for a variety of reasons ranging from age differences to interests, to personal beliefs. 

        What we’re seeing here is simply the tendency of individuals who believe they’re the aggrieved party to seek out others and launch into hysteric circular navel gazing to reinforce their viewpoint. Eventually they find a target for their anger and lash out and it has nothing to do with gender: just ask Greg Street/Ghostcrawler over at Blizzard who volunteered to be the official dev interaction point for World of Warcraft forums and is now the “source” of “everything that’s wrong” anywhere in the game despite merely being the Lead Systems Designer and primarily in charge of seeing to it that the math makes sense.

      •  Gotta disagree. Go to ANY company game forum and you will find a dedicated group of trolls, who make it their mission in life to bring misery to all who have the misfortune of reading the bile they write. Perhaps Bioware needs better forum moderators.  

  3. If we’re going to generalize “gamers”, then I’m sure I also could aggregate some twitter hate speech from “privacy advocates” by searching for #tellviceverything, lump all the hate-speech together into a concise article, and associate @jessebrown:twitter  with this hate-speech.  But that’s not fair.  I mean, my mother, who plays Farmville, can she be lumped in as a “video gamer”, in the derogatory sense this article attempts to make all video-gamers seem?  Can we blame “television-watchers” for lame reality-TV, while there are people watching quality, publicly funded TV?  Are we talking about MMO players?  First-person shooter players?  It seems to me like we’re talking about a select number of RPG players on Twitter.  Hardly representative of “gamers”.  Twitter, never will you find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

    When you hear news of video games making hundreds of millions of dollars, can we really generalize video-gamers as some small niche society?  No, they are mainstream.  Virtually everyone plays video games, people wright about the ‘gamification’ of society, and yet this article generalizes to an extent that I can’t put my finger on who it is talking about. I’m afraid @Jessebrown simply hates video games, and is trying to stop people from playing them by portraying all video games, and the people who play them, as generally distasteful.

    • The Forbes article closes in on this point. There IS a self-identified “gamer” community. But that’s no longer where all the money is. Your mother (and others), who plays Farmville, is where the money is. And the “gamers” are horrified that not only is their niche being swamped, but their content providers seem to be taking them for granted. No longer does offending a bunch of closely knit “hardcore gamers” guarantee financial ruin.
      There exists a “gaming” community in the same sense that there’s a “driving” community. It LOOKS ridiculous (all kinds of demographics own and drive cars), but there IS this bunch of enthusiasts that subscribe to magazines and compare arcane stats that DOES have a disproportionate effect on industry trends.

  4. I deeply resent your characterization of all “gamers” as revolting sexists. Those are basically your exact words in your opening headline, and characterizing all this way is a lie.

    As for attacks via a twitter feed, I suggest you read almost any online-paper public comments section on any story with controversy. Those compelled to write something are almost 90% extremists, as they are the only one that can stand to read through the bile and bullspit and then gleefully add their own. These commentators rarely represent the actual mainstream. They are merely those who delight in joining flaming, hate-wars, which, ironically, is exactly what you do, painting all gamers as sexist and revolting.

    BTW, for clarity, I have NO idea who the woman is. I am currently playing Dragon Age 2 after playing Dragon Age. So far, I like it. As a gamer though, guess I’m still a revolting sexist.

    I am a member of the “gaming community” I suppose, yet we are not a monolith (someone else made a similar point lately, no?). However, you argue “those who don’t participate in the hate tolerate it.” Vic Towes would be proud there. Either with you and Jennifer Hepler, or with the revolting sexists, eh? Maybe they hang out with the child pornographers?

  5. You couldn’t have thrown a “some” into your headline???

    • No, not without rendering my point meaningless. Some accountants are revoltingly sexist. Some pastry chefs are revoltingly sexist.  It’s as good as saying nothing. 

      Yes, as many here point out, some video gamers are not revoltingly sexist. Many are not. Millions, even.  But gamer culture is.  The norms of conversation within gamer forums are wildly out of whack with the norms of conversation elsewhere on the Internet, save for maybe /b and porno comment boards.  For a massively mainstream entertainment like video games, this is not okay.  

      Those of you who game and resent being lumped in with misogynists should be the most vocal in opposing stuff like this:

      http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/304/index/6661775&lf=8

      What concerns me most is not overt flamer trolls looking for a reaction, but quieter voices like this, who truly believe that they are entitled to entertainment that favors them on the basis of their gender and sexual orientation. Why not throw “white” in there too?

      • While I freely admit that I don’t look at many forums as I suspect you do I would disagree with your analysis.  I think the sorts of behaviour you are talking about is very much the norm on forums of all sorts, and that includes this one.  Here people’s opinions are often dismissed based on the perceived political leanings of posters and there is a lot of affirmation or discrimination based on group identification (Liberals, Conservatives or NDP) rather than reason.  There are also many unpleasant personal attacks on Harper or Rae and many other politicians.

        None of this is to defend people who attack Hepler, and I freely acknowledge that a politician is expected to deal with personal attacks whereas you or I, or Hepler isn’t.  You might make the case that misogynistic or homophobic comments may be worse than anti-Liberal comments but its all the same type of behaviour.

        I’d say the sort of things you’ve been posting are an extreme example of what is, unfortunately, normal behaviour for online communication.  It’s probably the norm for offline anonymous communication as well, but since most of this kind of garbage wouldn’t be printed in a newspaper we normally don’t get to see or hear it.

        As far as the pathetic post you link to and your comment:

        “Those of you who game and resent being lumped in with misogynists should be the most vocal in opposing stuff like this …”

        I’m not sure what you are looking for here, the comments of the poster were very strongly opposed.  If you’ve been following the Mass Effect romance threads (which I have) there has been constant discussion about the same sex romances in Mass Effect, and very strong posts opposing the sort of close-minded comments that you are citing.

        By the way I don’t disagree that a certain portion of the online gaming community are unpleasant and prejudiced, but I do disagree that it is something that is unique to gamers.  As evidence I’ll leave you with a few twitter comments directed at 49ers Kyle Williams after twice fumbling the ball in the 2012 NFC Championship Game.

        “I hope you, youre [sic] wife, kids and family die, you deserve it.” 
        “you should jump off the Golden Gate Bridge for that one.”
        “HOPE U RUN n2 A BULLET DA WAY U RAN INTO DAT BALL.”

      • “What concerns me most is [...] quieter voices like this, who truly believe that they are entitled
        to entertainment that favors them on the basis of their gender and
        sexual orientation. Why not throw “white” in there too? ”

        I really don’t see the concern.  I entirely agree that not all content should cater to this particular group, but are you arguing that none should?  That all game content must be universally appealing?  So, for example, you oppose the recently-reported push to market more “woman-gamer-friendly” games (which, admittedly, has earned some controversy)?  Certainly, I am hearing that some heterosexual females DO feel “entitiled to entertainment that favours them on the basis of their gender and sexual orientation”.  How terrible… not.

        It seems to me that game developers are responding to a perceived market, quite successfully – no surprise there.  Fortunately the market is more varied than this, so there is room for quality games that have an appeal not based on sexist fantasies… but indeed I’m not concerned by the fact that many games give certain fans what they very clearly want, including both male and female characters that barely resemble humans.  Far more heinous, in my mind, is that most of these games give the player no choice but to be a killing machine – surely it’s far worse to encourage violent behaviour, than to include sexist behaviour that is not directly perpetrated by the player?

        After all this, I’m entirely in favour of BioWare’s attempt to be more inclusive in its options, and I’m far from offended at the homosexual content that disgusts the poster linked to above. He simply, and somewhat unpleasantly, is making the point that in aiming for inclusivity, BioWare has slipped somewhat (unnecessarily) in the quality of game experience for a larger group.

      •  $20 says you’ve never played any of the Dragon Age games. You’re relying entirely on incorrect second hand information to make vague assumptions about the product we are complaining about.

        There was an obvious difference between Dragon Age 1 (Pre-Hepler) and Dragon Age 2 (Hepler) in that it was a bastardization of the franchise. How dare you mischaracterize my feelings on an issue you don’t even understand. You broadly defend this woman without even actually suffering through her work.

        • Fascinating. “Hey, Jesse! You don’t know nuthin’ about these games!” followed by characterizing (incorrectly) DA:O as being pre-Hepler. Such a video game expert! How were we having this conversation without you?

          • Hepler ran the show on DA2. You don’t know nuthin

  6. But I don’t dislike Hepler because she’s a woman. I dislike her because she’s a shit writer. 

    This article can hardly be called journalism. 

  7. Your source for the worst is a blog that screencaps stupid tweets by raging teenage boys?

    It must have been a long time since you were in junior high Jesse.
    I’ve seen bigger fits when their Mom’s buy the wrong type of cereal.
    Sexist, racist and homophobic slurs are all tools employed to get a reaction from adults.

    Don’t worry though;

    The boys will grow out of their hissyfit as they hit their mid twenties and hormones subside.

    Jennifer Hepler gets beatified a feminist icon and martyr.

    Journalists get to write more worried, hand-wringing columns about rampant misogyny and homophobia threatening us all, as is their wont.

    Everyone is happy.

    • And you know these are teenaged boys because…they’re friends of yours? You’re personally taking the time to make sure that they understand that what their friends tell them is so hard. core. m/ when they’re teenagers is–unlike everything else they’re supposed to be learning about social behavior at this point of their lives–suddenly not the way to treat anyone when those “hormones” dry up and blow away?

      Seriously, dude. Could you say, “Boys will be boys and just too bad for anyone who gets in their way, but the boys are all that count,” any louder?

  8. Roses are red.
    Violets are blue.
    Hepler can’t write.
    Jesse Brown can’t either.

  9. As I understand it now, the link is to a filtered version of the WORST comments made about this person? So, it’s not even a random twitter feed, but a compilation of the worst comments made, yet Jesse uses THAT to brand ALL “gamers”?

    I’ve been reading this columnist lately thinking he was making reasoned, thoughtful defences against Vic Towes and his spying laws. Now…I’m baffled. Are these the only voices out there? Those who paint their perceived enemies with a single brush? One would paint me as a child pornographer, the other, as a revolting sexist. I thought I was a normal, somewhat thoughtful person. Apparently though, I’m a scumbag at some level. Huh…. I feel so normal. Yet two people with very different thoughts find me disgusting. One, because I value privacy. The other, because I enjoy video games and do not, apparently, take arms against a sub-section of some online-twitterers! Wow, it’s tough trying to be a non-molester, non-revolting person in today’s topsy-turvy world!

  10. Hepler has stated that she hates playing games and wished there was a way to fast forward and skip game content. Comments like that don’t exactly help her gain favour among gamers.

  11. If Hepler is speaking for a particular gaming ‘community’ (expression used loosely) she should do the following: 
    -write a sexual game that appeals to heterosexual females, not men
    -recommend the existing games to lesbian gamers, who are thrilled by all that so-called ‘misogynist’ sadism.

  12. The problem with the internet is that it enables the ‘crazies’ to post the most horrible things (things most of these cowards would never dare utter to anyone in real life) and remain absolutely anonymous. So, is the problem with the game? Doubtful if one looks at how many sales and awards they have won. Bioware is simply one of the best RPG game stuidios out there.

    Simple solution, turn off the twitter, filter your email, ignore the trolls. Giving them attention empowers them, instead banish them back into the darkness, under the bridge, in the bog, where they belong.

    •  ”The crazies” means “the average person”. Anonymity is absolutely crucial to the free exchange of ideas and thoughts; it is not impossible to believe that, quite possibly, many many people dislike Hepler’s writing and take great offense to her using her sex as a defense. Of course, within that set of people, there are those that would immediately swear and shout and holler and so on, but they would do the same thing if they saw hypocrisy or stupidity (in their eyes, that is) anywhere.

    • You read this somewhere, right? Probably lots of places? Sadly, that doesn’t make it true.

      No, ignoring trolls doesn’t make them go away. The idea is based in the principles of operant conditioning (reward and punishment having an effect on the frequency of behavior). The advice is essentially what is given to parents of small children who act out for attention. Don’t give them the attention, and they’ll find better ways to get it.

      The problems with applying that to trolls are two-fold. They both come from the fact that we are not trolls’ parents. That means we don’t have control over their environments. These trolls have buddies egging them on. If they’re on a Twitter hashtag, they see other people doing the same thing (reward). If they’re on a forum, they’ve driven away everyone who isn’t going to tell them how hilarious their ability to swear at someone is (reward). If they’re on 4chan, well… (reward).

      Not having control of their environments also means we usually don’t have opportunities to interact with the trolls when they’re exhibiting prosocial behavior. We don’t see them. We don’t reward them.

      Combine those two, and unless we speak up and say, “This is not the behavior I want anywhere near me,” all the trolls get is reward for their behavior. Who’s going to go away under those circumstances?

  13. >person x is making stupid decisions on the game they are working on
    >people justifiably call person x fucking stupid
    but wait, person x is a girl. STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES, GAMERS ARE SEXIST PIGS

  14. A set of two-second tweets by a few thousand users may seem representative or endemic, but you need to examine that it comes from a set of sites boasting many millions of users interested in the spectacle itself.

    Additionally, there were several poignant and well-written criticisms of both Hepler’s writing and her statements and responses as well as that of Bioware themselves, all of which were ignored by the defensive or flamboyant parties; one does not get to play the double standard of saying that everyone against you is a rude sexist internet slob while ignoring the proof to the contrary under the guise of “there’s too many tweets to be able to see that!”

  15. *Additionally, a similar level of vitriol was directed at Woo and Gaider, but neither of them used a physical attribute of themselves such as their race or religion or sex as a reason for/defense against criticism as a whole. And that kind of logical fallacy is one that the internet loves to destroy and tear apart and mock, for the righteous and deserved schadenfreude alone.

  16. Call Gabe Newell fat? Nothing.

    Call Hepler fat? OMG UR MEAN.

    “Gripes with Jennifer Hepler’s story-centric thoughts on gaming must take
    a backseat to the real cancer on gaming that’s been revealed.”

    Really? So after this is all over, we can talk about shit writing in games then?

    • Well, that depends. Do you think calling people fat is the same thing as talking about writing? If so, no, you probably aren’t capable of talking about the writing itself.

  17.  What a nasty poisoning the well attempt, Jesse. You set it up so that anyone who disagrees with you is sexist. The real cancer are hateful online communities? That you can completely
    ignore and never come into contact with? You mean cancer isn’t
    something that’s in your face 24/7, terminal, and non-curable like the
    horrible state of the Industry and a perfect representative of that
    state; Hepler? I find it very offensive that this author assumes everyone who hates
    Hepler’s atrocious and disgusting writing must necessarily be male and
    must also necessarily be heterosexual and dislike women. I’m a lesbian
    woman myself, who absolutely hates Hepler; not for being a woman or
    being slightly unpleasing to the eye, but for being a hack writer and
    someone who does not belong in an industry about videogames. This is sensationalist tabloid writing, not journalism. When David Gaider fucked up, we were there with a crowbar and a chain. No one gets off easy for performance this terrible.

  18. What a  nasty poisoning the well attempt, Jesse. You set it up so that anyone who disagrees with you is sexist. The real cancer are hateful online communities? That you can completely
    ignore and never come into contact with? You mean cancer isn’t something
    that’s in your face 24/7, terminal, and non-curable like the horrible
    state of the Industry and a perfect representative of that state;
    Hepler? I find it very offensive that this author assumes
    everyone who hates Hepler’s atrocious and disgusting writing must
    necessarily be male and must also necessarily be heterosexual and
    dislike women. I’m a lesbian woman myself, who absolutely hates Hepler;
    not for being a woman or being slightly unpleasing to the eye, but for
    being a hack writer and someone who does not belong in an industry about
    videogames. This is sensationalist tabloid writing, not journalism. All it does is start more drama and draw attention to itself. When David Gaider messed up this badly, we were there with a crowbar and a chain. No one gets off easy for performance this poor.

  19. You point out all her screw ups
    You describe the backlash she’s been getting from the community about them

    And then you say it’s all okay and no one is allowed to criticize her because she’s a woman

    Jesus Christ, has it really come to this? The double standards are hurting my head

  20. You are a fucking faggot.

  21.  Her gender wasn’t even relevant until Hepler brought it up, touting her superiority for “having a vagina”.
    I’m
    sick of people hiding behind their gender/race when they get
    criticized, it’s absolutely disgusting. They’re taking advantage of the
    people who are defending their rights as minorities.
    Why should I only be able to criticize straight white males without being called “hateful”, “racist” or “sexist”?

  22. People hating bad writing is misinterpreted as people hating women.
    Oh boy!

  23. There are plenty of gay individuals such as myself who are absolutely offended by Jennifer Hepler’s treatment of the subject of homosexuality. She treats us like stereotypes who preach awful poetry back and forth at one another as we sodomize each other. I am absolutely ashamed that she waves the flag of forwarding homosexuality in media while doing more harm and strengthening the beliefs that have let the homophobic popular opinion continue as it has.

    I am also deeply ashamed as a gamer when those in the industry act in such childish ways. She flaunted around her vagina as a man would his penis. Waving it around and declaring, “You’re just mad that you can’t have THIS.” Does this seem like something anyone should support? Or rather something we should punish and turn away from?

    This industry needs to do a lot of growing up, and a lot of that growing up needs to be done by those who claim to be liberating the industry, when in fact they’re just hurting it.

    • Yeah, *all* my gay friends refer to having sex as “sodomizing each other.” Pull the other one. It’s got bells on it.

      Also, if you missed all the people telling Hepler she should be writing romance novels instead of games, you might have an excuse for thinking she mentioned her vagina first. However, if that’s the case, you’re really not informed enough to have an opinion on this matter.

  24. How come people don’t give a damn when the internet rises up against a man?  How come no one looks at the underlying problems here?  Rather than complaining or arguing that gamer culture is sexist or not, shouldn’t we be concerned that publishers and developers treat consumers as the enemy, and the feeling is mutual?  How come no one seems to be aware of the frustration that more traditional gamer’s are feeling toward Bioware, and Hepler is just the next target of this frustration?

    Listen, I’m not saying that the people who attacker her personally are right, or justified, but she IS a hack.  The underlying problem with her and her work isn’t that she’s a woman, but that she’s just bad at her job.  Not only is she bad at her job, she doesn’t care about the most important part of a game, and that’s gameplay.  A good game story blends gameplay and story presentation, ties them together intrinsically.  She’s writing books and movies and trying to pass them off as games.  She’s an awful writer, in a company full of awful writers with great hubris (a deadly combination) and, if I was a homosexual man, I’d be offended with how she portrays homosexuality in her writing.  Its pretty disgusting.  

  25. Where did Bioware go wrong? I used to love the company for it’s in-depth, immersive, great story telling RPG’s. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was such a gem to me, in fact one of my most favourite games of all time.

    Coming up to the release on Dragon Age 2 I was promptly interrupted by people telling me NOT to buy the game because I would be let down and it’d be nothing compared to the greatness of Dragon Age: Origins.. I tried to ignore this group and was simply to hyped to believe in anything that they said, so I proceeded to get the game.The day came and Dragon Age 2 got released! I fired it up, installed it and got into game. First thing I noticed is that they improved on the combat a little and made it more fluid in terms of animations. On the other hand..that’s all I can say that was good about Dragon Age 2. 

    My main problems with it was the extremely low textures you had, you know those rocks that you sail past at the very start? Completely destroyed my immersion. Not only that, but when you arrive in the city for the first time and see all those NPC’s stacked up trying to get into the city, did you happen to see their faces? It was as if you seen the crowd from FiFA 98..

    Those problems though didn’t stop me from playing, I forced myself to continue on to see if it got any better. Sadly I couldn’t keep playing, by the time I hit the fade (really? You know how boring that was in Dragon Age: Orgins and you put it in again, nor did you even improve on it?) I had lost all interest in the game, I felt disappointed, let down and somewhat felt unfair. The re-use of the SAME scenery, the lackluster of character customisation, the awful story telling/writing, (Urgh could I be a dragon?) the ability to free roam and explore. Dragon Age 2 was a disaster.Now I tried telling giving my opinion on how I felt about the game on Bioware’s forums but it was met with pure hatred from Biodrones. (Bioware fundamentalists/extremists)My post didn’t have any sense of derogatory at all and it was filled with constructive criticism. Sadly the Bioware employees don’t like criticism and that I should 100% truly respect their God send of a game, the locked my thread and deleted it.It was on that day that not only was I let down by such over hyped lies, but also by the social bigotry that I received from the company as well.Please don’t get me started on Star Wars: The Old Republic…Bioware, you used to be such a great company and as an old hardcore type fan you’ve lost all respect that you once had and deserved. You’ve continuously shat on your most valued and adoring fans, you will never be the same as you used to be. Corrupted by greed, you will never again know how to make well earned respected cash.

    From an ex-Bioware fan.

  26. I’d like games to have a “No BS” option, where we wouldn’t be forced to have BS feelings for female characters merely because they happen to be females.

    In Alpha Protocol I tried to play a straight shooting, professional agent, and yet somehow every woman in the game had the hots for me and seemed to think we were an item, up to getting all huffy if I picked another woman as my contact over them. Sorry, if I chose the one who actually knows about the place I’m going into. Then again, why must I choose? You’d think that there is a way for two people to talk to me, or was there budget only for one mic?

    In Wolfenstein cutscenes Blaskowitz get’s all angry when the lady he has seen like a few times in passing gets shot on a top secret mission, while faceless rebels are gunned down all over town.

    And then there’s Mass Effect 2: This Is My Fetish. You got a blue bisexual, blue milf priestess who can’t seem to work her zipper all the way up, her femme fatale daughter, an insecure nerd, a tattooed biker chick with daddy issues, big breasted supermodel, and the redhead who’s very eager to serve.

    Made playing my ME1 carreer military Shepard, with a handful of Sinclair from Babylon 5, a little difficult. Tried to be friendly with the civies aboard my ship, and sooner or later they all mistook my friendliness as “I’m madly in love with you.” Just like in real life. If only I keep working my paragon/good karma meter, chicks will dig me!

  27. At the risk of falling for troll bait, I would like to point out something to the woman that wrote this.  Hepler isn’t a gamer and has said as much, and when criticized for poor game design she insulted her detractors directly.

    Compare Hepler with Ree Soesbee.  Soesbee knows how to do her job, and does an amazing job of it.  He has written not just for video games, but also for pen and paper.  Soesbee has an impressive resume, and knows her target audience.

    If a man did what Hepler has done, he would be getting the same treatment.  However the premise of this article is that there are mean people on the internet… shocker.

  28. I don’t hate Hepler because she’s outspoken, or because she’s a woman, or because she is trying to advance how the LGBT community is presented in video games. I hate her because she’s a terrible writer, and that’s objectively the truth. You should not work in the video game industry if you hate video games (which Hepler has said on multiple occasions)–and the fact of the matter is the only reason she’s working in the games industry is because she failed horrendously at being a writer outside the games industry. When you throw her terrible writing on top of the recent trend of Bioware/EA trying to victimize their customers and still making buckets of money, you begin to wonder why anyone is taking her side in all of this.

    You, Jesse Brown, are distorting the issue of Hepler’s terrible writing/PR policy/idiotic views on the base of the industry she works in by claiming that the attacks made on her were entirely about sexism and homophobia. The reason for the attacks is solid–Hepler’s view of turning video games into books is reflective of her company’s views on the casualization of video games, and is indeed evidence of a cancer on the games industry–and sexism/homophobia were merely tools used to shock and appall Hepler and her cronies.

    People like Jennifer Hepler and those defending her ARE destroying video games. If you expect gamers to back down, you’ve got another thing coming. Everything in your article is wrong, and you should feel bad for putting it in a notepad file, let alone defacing the journalistic integrity of Maclean’s with your idiotic mud-slinging.

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