Over the last few weeks Alison Rapp, Nintendo’s spokesperson was the target of internet hate and shaming. On Wednesday, the woman got fired, but it seems that moonlighting caused Rapp’s dismissal from Nintendo, not the shaming campaign on the internet.
The gaming industry is not kind when it comes to female involvement. There are some groups who claim to “defend the ethics of gaming” by harassing women who want to make a change in the male-dominated industry.
GamerGate, one of the aforementioned groups, made it their personal mission to destroy the reputation of Rapp and get her fired from Nintendo. The reason? She is a woman with an outstanding job in the gaming industry, and she is a feminist.
Rapp tried to explain numerous times that both her feminist views and herself had nothing to do with the localization of “Xenoblade Chronicles X”, but all of her words were in vain. It didn’t matter that she was a spokesperson, not a game developer, that Nintendo officials decide what traits of a game should be localized and what should be kept as such, not her.
The males in the gaming community considered her directly responsible for the omission of the “boob slider” in the latest Xenoblade instalment, and war was declared.
Over the course of a few weeks, Rapp was in the spotlight of several on-line articles wrote by members of the GamerGate community. They tried so hard to dig up something dirty from her past, to get her fired from Nintendo and let a man take the job, which they finally succeeded.
The internet trolls managed to find a paper that Rapp wrote in 2011 in college. At the time, the woman was trying to demonstrate that Japanese culture was different than the American one in lots of ways. Among the topics was the over-sexualizing of teenage girls in the Asian country’s culture.
She ended her paper saying that tradition is different in America and Japan, and the Western culture should not try to impose its moral standards on another country.
This was enough to set the internet on fire. The same males that spend hours on end playing video games which star barely dressed, voluptuous women accused her of promoting pedophilia. The groups that raged against the omission of a game feature that allowed players to shrink or expand the size of a character’s breasts accused her of being a sexual deviant.
The scandal went on for a couple of weeks, multiple groups urging Nintendo to fire the woman. And they did just that, but it seems that eventually moonlighting caused Rapp’s dismissal from Nintendo, not the giant scandal she was involved in. A scandal over the course of which the gaming company remained silent.
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