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Nintendo Fires GamerGate Target for Bullshit Reasons

In the realm of corporate cowardice, very little compares to the utter cowardice that is firing a female employee because she is the target of an orchestrated hate campaign from reactionary assholes.  But that is exactly what Nintendo America has done.  The always excellent Jesse Singal gives the rundown.

For those seeking more background, check out this Kotaku article.


  1. This is a hard one. On one hand, yeah, sacrificing an employee who had nothing to do with the “controversy” at hand is a pretty shitty thing to do. On the other hand, Nintendo has stated she moonlighted under a fake name, which given Nintendo’s pretty strict control policies, does seem against their values of secrecy.

    Like, I don’t care about some shitty undergrad paper, because god knows I’ve written enough shitty undergrad papers, and I think 99.9% of the tweets being drawn up are bullshit, exaggerated, or why too old to provide a clear view on her ideals now. but I’m thinking the moonlighting is probably the major factor here in why she got fired. Still, I think the big N isn’t completely clear on this, especially if what Rapp said about the Lateral move was true.

    Overall, what I think happened was Nintendo found out about the moonlighting. This led to the lateral move, which quite honestly is a pretty big thing in Japanese coporate culture IIRC. At the least I remember a lot of shit like this was exposed at Konami.

    Rapp says moonlighting was accepted and policy, Nintendo says its not. Not really sure who to believe here, given that Nintendo is super secretive about a lot of stuff, and that Rapp may be overassuming how common moonlighting actually was, but what I’m assuming is that it was frowned upon, but not a firing worthy offense, so she gets shuffled as punishment for a while. (Shitty thing still, I admit, but somewhat understandable, given that Nintendo has a super heavy Japanese style buisness managment). Then the shitstorm blows in, and despite being unfounded, makes Nintendo revaluate the stuff on her twitter and decide to cut loose a troublesome employee, who epoused views on twitter that aren’t one hundred percent family friendly. (Note: not saying her ideas are bad or unfounded, but the Big N does a lot to preserve a family image. A suddenly very visible employee with a lot of tweets about child sexuality and child porn is not family friendly here in NA) Given that they fired another Treehouse employee for doing a podcast unsupervised, I can imagine moonlighting is a punishable offense.

    Again, this is all speculation, and as much as I love the Big N I wish they hadn’t done this, but I can see why they would make their decision

  2. To me, whether Nintendo had a valid reason for firing her is irrelevant, because unless you’re privy to what goes on inside Nintendo, it’s impossible to tell. The TIMING of her firing, however, is as large a public-relations train wreck as you can imagine. Especially since Nintendo then went on about the entire spiel of “Nintendo is a company committed to fostering inclusion and diversity in both our company and the broader video game industry and we firmly reject the harassment of individuals based on gender, race or personal beliefs.” Blah blah blah, inclusion, diversity, and all the usual buzzwords. In effect, given the circumstances, it’s just as if Hirohito had said he was dedicated to world peace in his declaration of war in December 1941 — oh wait, he totally did.

    Okay, let’s suppose she was fired for moonlighting, as Nintendo said. She did so under another name. Someone told Nintendo about that. Who told Nintendo? As if we couldn’t guess. We already know who doxed the top Nintendo executives to put pressure on them — a rather infamous hacker now especially infamous for his white nationalism. Unless Nintendo collectively believes that Japan is still on the old Honorary Aryanhood plan, someone there should have realized the full implications of giving the impression of caving to that particular mob. But I guess not.

    But anyway — do I still need to say that GamerGate is made up of massive hypocrites? For that matter, from what I’ve seen, the whole Rapp-Nintendo affair was primarily the doing of “GG Revolt”, the radical guys who think mainstream GG has been “cucked” by “SJWs”. Everyone who isn’t with Revolt is a “cuck”. The Society of Professional Journalists? Totally cucks, especially after the Kunkel Awards which GG begat went to a bunch of Kotaku, Guardian and Polygon articles.

    Mainstream GG (as seen at KotakuInAction) returns the favor by thinking Revolt are ridiculous emo kids, to the extent of saying that “GG Revolt”, after some ideological legerdemain, is Anti-GG just like the rest of GG’s opponents. Translated into Pythonesque terms, the Judean People’s Front thinks the People’s Front of Judea is made up of Romans just because it’s an opponent. Not that mainstream Gaters won’t exploit an op from Revolt they happen to agree with, of course, and in the Rapp affair mainstream GG passes the blame on to anyone else who ever gloated (or just didn’t care) about someone getting fired from their job.

    Just the day before, when it was announced that The Escapist would be more or less issued from Josh Vanderwall’s basement and that everyone else got a pink slip, Gaters took issue with GameSpot’s Dan O’Dwyer just saying “I won’t miss the site, but thoughts go out to those folks losing their jobs.” The same guys who cheered when Greg Tito and Bob Chipman were shown the door from that same Escapist, responded to every site they hated folding with “but they said we weren’t their audience?”, sabered champagne at the Hulk Hogan ruling against Gawker (and still proudly show a picture on the KIA sidebar — a screenshot of Wikipedia vandalism — where Gawker is listed as “defunct”), got holier than thou at O’Dwyer and wishing him to go the way of Carolyn Petit or Jeff Gerstmann. Yep, in the latest round of GamerGate worm-turning, Jeff Gerstmann getting fired from places is now a Good Thing.

    You could point this out to Gaters all you want — they don’t care. And so, in the Rapp-Nintendo affair, Gaters don’t care that they have done all the following, with all the contradictions this implies:

    (1) Brandish in outrage a college paper in which she argues that it’s cultural imperialism to try to impose on Japan stricter rules regarding child pornography;
    (2) Say Nintendo should fire her because she does “public relations for a child-oriented company”;
    (3) Object to localization changes Nintendo (among others) made to its video games because that same “child-oriented company” thought the original version might be culturally problematic in the West;
    (4) And in fact hail the importation of “Bikini Jailbait Extreme Volleyball 3” from that same Japan with too-lax child-porn laws as a major victory for free speech against the “Regressive Left”. This came with GG going after critics who found the game objectionable, like Destructoid’s Jed Whitaker, who wrote about how the game included a “18-year-old-who-looks-14-at-most, performing a strip tease”. (Gaters were sure that this specific review was clickbaity corruption because “Destructoid doesn’t usually do imports” or some such reasoning I think I saw floating around.)

    It’s not too difficult to figure out why Gaters do this — because they know damn well nobody is going to stick up a defense for child pornography or pedophilia. There is a certain irony to this, because this is exactly the kind of polarization the Canadian Tories used a few years ago to try to pass a thoroughly unpopular internet surveillance bill. The Public Safety minister point-blank told an opposition MP that he “can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.” The entire country told him off, and since I know that Gaters are mostly on the Snowden-Greenwald libertarian end when it comes to internet matters, they would have likewise been outraged at the false choice.

    But there is something else that needs to be said: that the reason Gaters have latched on to this game of calling out pedophiles is because they’ve borrowed the entire playbook from those they call “Social Justice Warriors” and are running with it, and that this whole “listen and believe” they exploit to their advantage is part and parcel of it.

    GamerGate’s excuse has always been that their opponents use the tactics they denounce in GamerGate. Gaters are hypocrites, but what they say about “Social Justice Warriors” is entirely true. Like that time I was called a “rape apologist” for having enough decency and deference to the rule of law to use the word “alleged” in relation to Bill Cosby — even though I privately thought him guilty — sometime last year. Needless to say, it was not by Gaters, but by one of those oh-so-progressive places where they also thought getting people fired was part of the playbook. Like also how Jessica Valenti could write something like, still in relation to Cosby, “there are no sure things in a courtroom” (as the Ghomeshi trial demonstrated). What do these people want? Would they rather go back to that glorious era that was absolutely without doubt in any matter involving a black man, a white woman, and any accusation but especially one of rape?

    And how do the “Social Justice Warriors” respond, at having had their entire playbook borrowed from them? Shrieks, snarks, blocks, bans, doxing, calls to get any offending person fired, and a few other things besides, then claiming the Moral High Ground, in the name of the Right Side of History.

    It reminds me of my time at Lum’s forum (notoriously progressive), when I was practically the only person there initially objecting to Anonymous, first when Anon doxed white supremacists following Ron Paul, then when it threatened to expose dirt on the aforementioned Canadian minister unless he withdrew his bill. Lum’s forum threw the slippery slope fallacy at me. Yet I was right. Later, Lum’s place seemed to sour on Anonymous — sometime after I was banned — first because its choice of targets became questionable, then because it opened the door to all kinds of unaccountable doxers and diggers, GamerGate among them.

    Lum’s forum is still big on the whole “rape culture” thing. When Rolling Stone published “A Rape on Campus”, one person commented there: “Bar the frat doors and let fire cleanse the land of this blight which walks in human flesh.” Who needs a courtroom after that? When the extent of its Swiss-cheese reportage was revealed, no apology of any kind, no collective sobering-up was to be seen on that forum — only a complaint that “the MRA idiots are going to be citing this one for years to come as their anecdotal counterpoint to every case that comes along.”

    Sure enough, they treat it as that. But beyond that, Gaters’ stroke of genius was to take the whole “rape culture” absurdity and fling it back at “SJWs” as soon as any opponent to GG was revealed as a rapist, pedophile, etc. Like how GG, galvanized by a Breitbart multi-part exposé, went after Sarah Butts. Like how Gaters pretended Feminist Frequency had a pedophile moderator. Like what Vox Day tried to do to John Scalzi by taking one of his satirical blog posts out of context. Like how Gaters are now doing to Ms. Rapp. Anyone coming to their target’s defense? Apologists! The playbook is familiar; and if the blame lies in the playbook, Gaters didn’t write it. The Hugos’ Puppies slates, the Trump campaign, GamerGate, all share in this not a break of the rules, but adopting the rulebook and running with it, with the people who wrote the book (1) furious at being beaten at a game they had rigged in their favor; and (2) unwilling to admit their own responsibility in this affair. That’s how you get responses like, respectively, No Award, a brokered convention, and Twitter blockbots.

    As much as I want to blame Gaters, I must also blame the fine denizens of those enlightened places, who enabled Gaterism in the first place, who have made Gaterism impossible to counter, and who, a few thousand Twitter blocks later, have fluttered into the upper stratosphere, having made themselves COMPLETELY USELESS, falling for every buzzword like “inclusiveness” or “diversity”, and e-mailing people’s bosses to get them fired just as they get the Alison Rapp Moral Support Committee started.

  3. This reminds me of the scene from The Wire where Carcetti wants to fire Herc, and Burrell pulls out the binder of rules.

    “The man has worked narcotics for 6 years, and in narcotics there are no virgins.”

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