We are happy to feature a third game developer after the 2nd anniversary of GamerGate. Denis Dyack is a veteran game developer who worked on games such as Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem. He also has a youtube channel called The Quantum Tunnel. So without any further ado, please enjoy our interview with Dyack.
What did you think about the GamerGate controversy when you found out about it?
I was torn in a few directions, in some ways I felt that it was some karma for some of the press for how they’d become very unethical and click-bait without care for the damage they were doing to the industry with bad journalism. I also was very worried about how this would affect developers behind the scenes and the escalation of insults and threats that were occurring as well as some of the good press who could get caught up in this.
It was also a relief to have the customer (gamers) see the hypocrisy and complete lack of ethical journalistic standards that developers have had to deal with over the years. I am glad that gamers are now seeing the truth of this and continue to call out unethical behavior as it should never be acceptable.
Do you think things have changed after two years of GamerGate?
Absolutely! For one thing, there is now greater transparency and disclosure, which is a really good thing. I also think that there’s more of a focus on how the press report at the consumer level which benefits everyone. The changes haven’t gone as far as I’d hoped, but it’s a good start and very much attributed to the #GamerGate movement.
The introduction of watchdog sites like Deepfreeze.it and Opencritic.com have been very positive and help to inform the consumer of how the press are reporting. I am, however, very sad at the way that some of this movement has been hijacked to be about Feminism and abuse, which is something that I really don’t agree with. For me, the core of this movement is about the way that some of the press have been unethically reporting over the years and the impact that it’s having on the industry as a whole.
Has GamerGate changed your view of the game industry and journalism in some way?
It has given me hope that there are a growing number of alternative sites who are interested in being ethical. It has also been eye-opening to see some of the mainstream press fight the ethical movement tooth and nail, to the point of alienating their own audience. As a game developer, we work for gamers and apparently even after seeing two years of dwindling number some of the press still needs to realize this as well.
For developers, publishers and press alike it should always be about what is good for the consumer. This is an industry about fun and entertainment, and too many people forget that and get caught up. The gamer is all that matters, and we should all do as right by them as we possibly can.
The only developers who are independent have agreed to do an interview of this kind with us, why do you think that is?
That’s a very good question – #GamerGate as a hashtag movement, sadly, has become mired and conflated with issues beyond press ethics and into other culturally polarizing topics. Publishers generally have PR and Legal teams that will always want to stay away from even mildly controversial subjects like these. As a result, developers in the larger studios can’t comment because of this.
One of the great benefits of being independent is being able to communicate directly with the communities and gamers without restrictions, which is something that is very hard to do in a larger company.
The Gaming Ground
More by Jack Davis: