Another glorious day for “gamer culture”.
Former Nintendo of America staffer Alison Rapp has had her employment terminated in the wake of vicious and sustained harassment – and a smear campaign publicly organised with the explicit intention of having her fired.
“Today, the decision was made: I am no longer a good, safe representative of Nintendo, and my employment has been terminated,” Rapp wrote on Twitter, following a description of her experiences over recent months.
The purported motivation behind the smear campaign is Rapp’s supposed role in the removal of the breast size slider from the western version of Xenoblade Chronicles X. Rapp, however, was in no way involved with this decision: although she was attached to Nintendo of America’s localisation unit, she worked in marketing and had no influence over the localisation process.
Responding to our requests for comment, Nintendo of America supplied to the following statement:
“Alison Rapp was terminated due to violation of an internal company policy involving holding a second job in conflict with Nintendo’s corporate culture. Though Ms. Rapp’s termination follows her being the subject of criticism from certain groups via social media several weeks ago, the two are absolutely not related. 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. We wish Ms. Rapp well in her future endeavors.”
This answer has not proved entirely satisfactory: it seems an amazing coincidence that Nintendo would happen to find a reason to fire Rapp after failing to make any effort – privately or publicly – to defend her from the very real consequences of utterly unacceptable behaviour engendered by her employment.
Whether the platform holder’s decision was truly unrelated or not, it’s frankly embarrassing that in this day and age companies like Nintendo make no effort to protect their employees – and their corporate culture as a whole – from this utter bullshit. By failing to condemn appalling, unacceptable behaviour, and giving the appearance of bowing to the commands of the people exhibiting it, Nintendo is tacitly endorsing such behaviour.
We live in a world where small groups of shitheads can drum women and minorities out of the industry, and huge companies can’t even be bothered to say “this is wrong”. Is this is the culture the late, great Satoru Iwata envisioned while working tirelessly to open the world of video games to everybody?
If you’d like to know more about Rapp and the organised campaign against her, Kotaku reported extensively on the matter last month. It’s no secret.