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IGDA Encourages Game Developers To Get Clarifications on How They Should Behave on Social Media


You may not have heard, but two ArenaNet employees were fired recently by the company after participating in a heated argument with Guild Wars 2 players on Twitter. You can find a lot more about this, including statements from one of the fired employees, on Polygon.

Meanwhile, though, the resonance of this case persuaded the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) to encourage game developers all around the world to receive proper guidelines on how they are expected to behave on social media by their respective companies. Below you can find an excerpt from the blog post published by Executive Director Jen MacLean earlier today.

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This incident makes very clear the perils of social media for game developers, especially when transparent and well-understood guidelines for staff members are not in place.  Often, game developers love engaging with their player base, and the interactions can be very helpful for both the developers and players. However, without clear information from an employer on social media use, interacting with people as a game developer can jeopardize someone’s job and career, and even their personal safety.

The IGDA strongly encourages its members, both as individuals and as studios and partners, to clarify the guidelines and expectations around social media use, both in professional and personal accounts.  

Game developers are also frequently targeted for harassment, particularly if they are members of under-represented communities.  Companies must plan for how they will support their staff members in the event of online harassment, and should clearly communicate the resources they will make available to their team to have safe, productive, and positive interactions online, especially if they are expected to do so in their roles.