G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Update II: Figured out who the guy on the left is. Waiting for responses from various people involved before I go any further. Lots of people not saying much.
Update: It seems we may have a case of mistaken identity, sort of, and this does not bode well for Ms. Richards. The guy who is shown looking at the camera in the photo tweeted by Adria Richards is named Alex Reid, and he works for PlayHaven. But the guy who was actually fired from the company says that Alex was not involved in the incident and that he is still with the company. Yet a petition was started up to save Alex Reid, and plenty of people online believed that the guy who was responsible for the jokes was Alex Reid. This is because Reid is the one looking at the camera, and because Ms. Richards seems to have been describing just the guy shown on the left of the picture. So Alex Reid’s name has come up because Adria Richards’ shoddy Tweetsmanship. She leveled a charge that got someone shamed and then fired, and didn’t clarify who was responsible. She roped in the two guys engaging in harmless banter and then another bystander. Every single guy in that photo would be suspect. PlayHaven is suspect as well, but perhaps they didnt’ fire anyone. I’ll leave this post up because it is evidence of just how shitty of a thing Ms. Richards has done.
The guy who was fired for his comments at PyCon about dongles and forking is named Alex Reid (LinkedIn profile and “perp” shot taken by Adria Richards) and he worked for PlayHaven, a gaming company based out of San Francisco. On its team member page, PlayHaven advertises that it is hiring and also features a series of employee photos including that of Reid. The page also provides a list of perqs which includes things like free lunch and snacks and “epic ping pong battles”. A petition has been started to help Reid get unfired.
One of Reid’s female colleagues previously wrote about harassment in the gaming industry. Reid left a comment on the post (this is how I came across his identity; the avatar had a beard). Reid wrote:
I always find the best luck in games that don’t support voice chat, make voice chat opt-in (for your team / guild / etc), or provide a completely alternative method of communication.
Not only do I not want to be harassed, I have no interest in hearing someone else get harassed. If there’s voice chat, I almost certainly mute it immediately. At best, you’re going to hear heavy breathing and snack munching.. at worst, well. I’m sure some of you have played Halo or Call of Duty.
The opposite of those is certainly Journey – a game in which your multiplayer experience is a) random, b) automatic, and c) voiceless. You’re represented by a unique symbol, as is anyone who wanders into your Journey, and the only method of communication you have available to you is a “shout” button.. which emits a brief non-verbal, genderless noise. At best, you can imitate the teacher from Peanuts at someone – “wah wah. Wah wah, wah wah” It’s impossible to troll, grief, harass, annoy, or otherwise interfere with someone else in Journey, only to accompany someone, or go your separate ways.
Is this a completely different definition of “multiplayer” than most people think of? Probably, but if most peoples’ idea of “multiplayer” is rife with pejorative yells into the headset, then perhaps we should be redefining that preconception.
Reid, whose Twitter handle is, ironically, “microwavedboy” recently retweeted a video of feminist activist Anita Sarkeesian who operates the blog Feminist Frequency at which she discusses women in gaming. Reid’s retweet and his comments on his co-worker’s blog post suggest that he is sympathetic to women’s issues in the gaming world.
Story developing. The company has not responded to requests for comment.