Dragon Age writer avoids “toxic” fan culture, still enjoys challenging feedback

Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:40 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider has said he tends to avoid the notoriously angry BioWare Social Network forums, which he says are “increasingly toxic”.

“The BioWare Social Network doesn’t constitute the be-all and end-all of BioWare’s fans. They are certainly a group of passionate folks, and while I wouldn’t say they were all ‘utterly gross’ as you put it I do agree that the overall tone of the forums has become increasingly toxic,” Gaider wrote in response to a question on his Tumblr.

“I tend to largely avoid them these days, myself. Why? Because spending too much time there starts to make me feel negative – not just about the games we make, but about myself and life in general.”

The writer said he’s aware that he and his team need to take negative feedback in their stride, but said not only has BioWare already heard plenty, the “signal-to-noise ratio” of useful comments to angry ranting is getting worse, as more polite users leave in disgust.

“Perhaps there is also something to be said about whether the games BioWare makes still satisfy our core fans,” Gaider added. “Though one need only attend a con to see there are plenty of positive, enthusiastic fans out there.”

“Personally I’d really like to seek out positive interactions and not engage with those who are out to attack me. Best to take a breath, smile and remember there are a lot of really genuine, positive people to talk to. People who challenge you in a way that doesn’t make you feel worse about yourself.”

Dragon Age 2′s story in particular came under heavy fan criticism for a number of reasons, and both core Dragon Age games have been criticised for unfortunate depictions of minority groups – although there has been plenty of praise for BioWare’s inclusivity and narrative design in other areas.

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition will take into account fan feedback in bringing back party member armour customisation, among other features.

Thanks, Kotaku.

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