Eurogamer: Troubling GOG tweets, a fired CD Projekt employee, and the spectre of GamerGate

Nov 12, 2017
463
#51
I think he got what he deserved

However:
”They found the details of my English home," Halliday says, "and my dad was ringing me, like, 'I'm getting phone calls from Americans' - I don't know if they were all Americans, he's not used to accents.
"My dad said one of them was just shouting 'bigot!' down the phone. He's a 64-year-old old-school Geordie, you can hear his age in his voice. Shouting 'bigot!' and 'you should be fired!' down the phone... He was confused as fuck."
I’m gonna remember this if some galaxy brain defends doxing bad people in the future
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,646
#52
Would you let someone you're about to fire post their apology on your company's Twitter
nah, but I'd sure as shit post an actual apology instead of that 'keep politics - read: trans people - out of video games!' shite they did put out.

___

CDPR wanted exactly what this dude purported to be. Someone who'd ban left wing folk from the forums in the name of 'civility', just for daring to speak out against the bigots they'd allowed to run amok. Someone 'above politics'. And this is what that actually looks like, in the end: throwing marginalised people under the bus, because for people whose very existence has been politicised, there is no such thing as 'apolitical'. (I mean, there's no such thing as 'apolitical' generally, but...)

This is why this aspect of the piece bothered me so much:

CD Projekt is adored and revered because it's done a lot of things very right. The games it makes are superb, the way it treats its audience is laudable, and the values it brandishes - gamers first! no DRM! - are exactly what we want to hear. But now we've also heard things we'd rather we hadn't. We've heard these tweets and we've heard reports of entrenched crunch culture, and as the company balloons and the spotlight shines, inside, the pressure rises.
Maybe ending an interview that, if any of it can be taken at face value at all, has revealed that CDPR's more than willing to throw marginalised fans of their games under the bus with, 'but the way they treat their audience is so laudable! gamers first!' isn't the best look. I mean, it ultimately reveals a certain specific truth--'gamers' aren't just people who enjoy video games, but instead a vaguely defined, amorphous blob of 'apolitical' entities - read: white, likely male, and able to excuse themselves from politics by virtue of the privileges that position affords - who can be put 'first' even as those who are supposedly welcome within their ranks are shat on.

Unless you're saying, outright, that CDPR's 'audience' of 'gamers' doesn't include trans people, they cannot, by definition, have treated their audience in a 'laudable' way, as the very content of this piece reveals.
 

Toxi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,297
#53
Considering his blatant bullshit in the interview, I would take none of his claims at face value.
 
Oct 25, 2017
596
#54
A social media manager for a video game site not knowing about GamerGate is like a political pundit not knowing who Donald Trump is.

You have to love it when the only defense these cowards can come up with is the implication that they're extremely incompetent to the point of being complete morons.
 

Zem

Member
Oct 25, 2017
752
United Kingdom
#55
All of his excuses are lies. Just reading the article combined with his tweets makes that clear. I wouldn't believe a word he says in this article. GoG did not fire him because he had a proper apology lined up.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,207
Moscow
#56
Maybe ending an interview that, if any of it can be taken at face value at all, has revealed that CDPR's more than willing to throw marginalised fans of their games under the bus with, 'but the way they treat their audience is so laudable! gamers first!' isn't the best look. I mean, it ultimately reveals a certain specific truth--'gamers' aren't just people who enjoy video games, but instead a vaguely defined, amorphous blob of 'apolitical' entities - read: white, likely male, and able to excuse themselves from politics by virtue of the privileges that position affords - who can be put 'first' even as those who are supposedly welcome within their ranks are shat on.

Unless you're saying, outright, that CDPR's 'audience' of 'gamers' doesn't include trans people, they cannot, by definition, have treated their audience in a 'laudable' way, as the very content of this piece reveals.
But that's not what article is saying. This particular closure starts with saying things CDproject red does right, and that's hwere 'gamers first" statement goes, and THEN it adds that "now we are hearing things we rather wouldn't". The enitre point is that what we heard and wanted to hear, and now there are things that undermine that confidence in them. There's a timeline of before after in that statement.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,480
#57
Dude couldn't do the job, so he deserved to be fired, but who doxxed him? That shit's not right. Ended up just getting his poor parents harassed.
 
Oct 26, 2017
95
#59
Any truth to the fact that he was doxxed by someone here? This was posted in multiple places but I couldn't find anything to corraborate this.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,578
#61
So he claims that he did not really know what GG was, but at the same time says this:
"That was the one thing I prided myself on, staying out of that whole [GamerGate] discussion for years when it was so fiercely contested,"
...which implies he was aware of the group and its activities in the past. Sure, man, you certainly didn't know better. I can understand not seeing the date on the tombstone or not even being aware that it means something (personally, I wasn't), but "Games Journalism" was a big red flag as to what kind of crowd that gif could pander to. So even if he never had any ill intentions - which I doubt, considering his views and the article he wrote -, he completely failed at his job of being a social media manager, because being aware of all these things before posting is social media 101.

So either way, he deserved being fired.

The other concerning thing here is the non-apology GOG issued after the last troubling tweet. Written by one of their higher-ups himself, even. So, despite this guy getting fired, it raises questions about the company culture at GOG. Halliday may as well have been fired only because his actions resulted in backlash, and not because the tweets don't align with the company's views.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
9,949
Sweden
#62
But Halliday wasn't allowed to use his tweet. He tried repeatedly but his manager said no. "We are not apologising for this," Halliday was apparently told, and his manager wrote the GOG response instead - minutes after he fired Halliday.
Various people check in on Halliday - "I looked like shit" - but it isn't until after a solitary early evening dinner in the office, at around 5.45pm, Halliday sees the ominous sight of his manager, his manager's manager, and an HR rep walking towards him. And then we come full circle to the beginning of this piece.

the timeline here doesn't add up. something is untrue

the non-apology tweet supposedly written by management was written at 2:08 pm polish time, yet he said it was written within minutes of him being fired, which didn't happen until hours later, at around 6 pm?
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,646
#63
But that's not what article is saying. This particular closure starts with saying things CDproject red does right, and that's hwere 'gamers first" statement goes, and THEN it adds that "now we are hearing things we rather wouldn't". The enitre point is that what we heard and wanted to hear, and now there are things that undermine that confidence in them. There's a timeline of before after in that statement.
But that's my point: CDPR aren't doing that right--not now, and not previously. They can't be, as long as they continue to feign being 'apolitical', refuse to own up to their mistakes, and continue to engage in 'both sides' equivocation. The stuff this guy did under their employ that they liked was shit, and the thing that got him fired - and that they refused to apologise for - is just an expansion of that kind of 'apolitical' thinking.

CDPR, as described in this piece, are not, and have not been, treating their audience in a 'laudable' way. Unless one accepts that their intended 'audience' includes no marginalised people.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,010
#64
So he claims that he did not really know what GG was, but at the same time says this:

...which implies he was aware of the group and its activities in the past. Sure, man, you certainly didn't know better. I can understand not seeing the date on the tombstone or not even being aware that it means something (personally, I wasn't), but "Games Journalism" was a big red flag as to what kind of crowd that gif could pander to. So even if he never had any ill intentions - which I doubt, considering his views and the article he wrote -, he completely failed at his job of being a social media manager, because being aware of all these things before posting is social media 101.

So either way, he deserved being fired.

The other concerning thing here is the non-apology GOG issued after the last troubling tweet. Written by one of their higher-ups himself, even. So, despite this guy getting fired, it raises questions about the campany culture at GOG. Halliday may as well have been fired only because his actions resulted in backlash, and not because the tweets don't align with the company's views.
Bingo. It's a classic case of 'sorry you were offended' shtick.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,125
#65
He really ran through the entire GG sympathizer playbook during that interview 😂

Good on Eurogamer for calling out his BS


'I have no idea what GG is. Please ignore my previous writings against Gamergate harassment targets. Also, don't you just agree with them? Man, both sides suck."

😭
 
Oct 27, 2017
863
Brazil
#67
I find it hard to believe he didn't know what the #WontBeErased hashtag was about, specially considering the second line he added to it. Why be provocative about a hashtag that, supposedly, "was just people talking about their favourite games or films or music they wouldn't get rid of"? Also, spare me with the "my favourite shows are RuPaul's Drag Race and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,578
#69

the timeline here doesn't add up. something is untrue

the non-apology tweet supposedly written by management was written at 2:08 pm polish time, yet he said it was written within minutes of him being fired, which didn't happen until hours later, at around 6 pm?
lol Nice catch!

I find it hard to believe he didn't know what the #WontBeErased hashtag was about, specially considering the second line he added to it. Why be provocative about a hashtag that, supposedly, "was just people talking about their favourite games or films or music they wouldn't get rid of"? Also, spare me with the "my favourite shows are RuPaul's Drag Race and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."
Yes, how could he literally check the tweets under that hashtag and say he saw a bunch of people talking about their favorite games? I find that very unlikely. That part about his favorite TV shows just reeks of "Hey, gays, look how inclusive I am!".
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,342
#70
Even if the interview subject here were not obviously misrepresenting the truth, all this demonstrates that if you claim to have wilful ignorance of any/all political subjects, you're not qualified to represent any company professionally

At least not any company that cares about it's public image.
 
Oct 31, 2017
1,950
#74
That GamerGate stuff, ouch. Maybe he never had bad intentions but still, the article doesn't exactly paint a nice picture either.

This dude is either lying or is the epitome of "both sides". You can't be apolitical, you just can't. Get informed. Know what's happening. It's your civic duty.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,058
#75
Good, because ye olde place had people saying far worse (doxxed by a mod here based on his account).
Yeah, alt-right fuckwits took that one inciddent and started spreading conspiracy theories and propaganda saying "ResetEra is a doxxing and hate group website" (which is pretty funny because the people spreading this are members of actual dedicated doxxing websites). Not surprising that a alt-right shithole like GAF is spreading that too.
 
Oct 25, 2017
319
#76
That GamerGate stuff, ouch. Maybe he never had bad intentions but still, the article doesn't exactly paint a nice picture either.

This dude is either lying or is the epitome of "both sides". You can't be apolitical, you just can't. Get informed. Know what's happening. It's your civic duty.
It really seems like he's trying to paint himself as sympathetic and getting caught in lies. It seemed pretty clear EG didn't really buy what he was selling either.

And yeah, you cannot be a community manager and not know what hashtags are referencing, understanding hashtags and not co-opting them in an offensive manner is literally the most important part of your job!
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,481
#77
I'm willing to take his word on it when he says that he's massively uninformed and doesn't have an insidious ulterior motives. That said, if he doesn't know how to navigate the modern political landscape online then he is in no way, shape or form qualified to perform the job he was hired to do. Groups like Gamergate pride themselves on coaxing public figures into equating their hateful organization with legitimate political movements. It legitimizes them and helps them to spread their hateful message. There is a monumental difference between individuals expressing ignorance and good faith and those expressing ignorance in bad faith.

If his best response to the situation is "lol, both sides" then that tells me he's not cut out to do his job. I'm a manager of a small team myself and if anyone tried to feed me a line like that in defense of them doing their job poorly then I would tell them to seek employment elsewhere.
 
Oct 25, 2017
775
#79
I'm glad GOG games are DRM-free. I downloaded them all last month, removed all 50+ wishlist items, deleted newsletter subscriptions and communication options, and will not buy another game from them again.

I also sent them an email telling them why I was doing it and all I got in response was "we have no comment on the situation."

Fuck you, GOG.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,845
#80
It's why I decide to stop dancing around the issue and come straight out and ask him: do you support GamerGate?

There's a pause while he thinks.

"I'm certainly of the view there is a discussion to be had about video game press and the industry," he answers, "but I disagree with how most of the GG crowd handle that - though I can say the same about the very liberal side of the culture too.

"I don't really subscribe to any group. I find the whole concept to be a little toxic in general. I'm a huge believer in just talking to people and understanding them, but some you simply can not do that with.

"As for harassment of people," he adds, "insulting them and all that, no I'm not a supporter of that in any shape or form. Same with any walk of life ... the world's rough enough without us attacking each other.

"But as we discussed, I've been on the fiery end of both 'sides'. That highlights a problem with modern society in general: if you don't fully commit yourself to a cause or a label, you're seen as fair game to attack."

Which isn't a 'no', but it's not really a 'yes' either.
He's straight up "both siding" this stuff. "Yes". The word he is looking for is "yes". "Yes, I support GamerGate" is what he wanted to say, but didn't have the balls to do it.

What a fucking piece of shit. And GOG, CDPR and CDP along with him for not wanting to actually apologize instead of sweeping everything under the rug. Shit company. I'm so glad I closed my account with them. They're not going to see a dime from my wallet anymore.

I'm glad GOG games are DRM-free. I downloaded them all last month, removed all 50+ wishlist items, deleted newsletter subscriptions and communication options, and will not buy another game from them again.
If you really want to a make a statement, tell them to close your account. And tell them why.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,492
#81
Another Boogie with both sides bullshit. Who buys that shit? Especially when only the bigoted side gets the benefit in the conflict.

Fuck them all.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,965
#83
I do have a small amount of sympathy for the guy- maybe just because he's from my part of the country. He just seems like a real clueless idiot, who uses "I'm not political" as an excuse for being politically cynical in a right-leaning way.
No, he is clearly lying through his teeth.

Do you expect him to be keen on the guys who shouted at his dad and got him fired?
He got himself fired.
If the doxxing / harassment story is true, it shouldn't have happened, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was another lie to try and make people sympathetic towards him.
 
Oct 28, 2017
716
#85
Yep, and banned the person who did it.
Mind you, they only posted the public twitter account of the dude which...doesn't really qualify as doxxing I don't think.
Didn't that person say he found out his real name? Sometimes it takes just that to find their address and phone number. There is a possibility that the doxxing originated here.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,246
#86
Yeah, alt-right fuckwits took that one inciddent and started spreading conspiracy theories and propaganda saying "ResetEra is a doxxing and hate group website" (which is pretty funny because the people spreading this are members of actual dedicated doxxing websites). Not surprising that a alt-right shithole like GAF is spreading that too.
I think someone said a mod doxed him because the mod was the one who furnished the deleted tweet. Like since when is screenshotting and posting a deleted tweet doxxing? Some of these OmG doxing people also kept retweeting the guy's info while saying doxing is bad.

Anyway I don't believe the guy. And if GoG really told him not to post that apology (which is sketchy based on the fact tha5 Sean is not trustworthy) then fuck them too.
 
Oct 25, 2017
551
#87
He decided to live in Poland instead of the UK because of Brexit "because he's not a political person and can't deal with the heat of Brexit". (lol)

Probably had no clue of the state that Poland is in right now.

Anyway, I don't buy his excuses. He's definitely taking sides with the edgelords of GG when he made articles about McIntosh and Sarkeesian and when he made those tweets. Cut himself on his edge and now he's feeling sorry after he felt the repercussions.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,901
#89
"I don't know much about this gamergate stuff" is the official phrase of gamer gators.
"Don't know much about Gamergate
Don't know much about online hate
Don't know much about how I look
And when I say that, I bait the hook
'cause the truth is that I want to
Be free to foster bile and spew
To make sure that this world stays for me"
 

Krejlooc

Dreamcast Porno Party
Member
Oct 27, 2017
11,574
#90
If the dude has never heard of gamergate before, then what the fuck did he read that he "sorta agrees with"? Because wikipedia pulls no punches describing the "movement" for what it is.
 
Oct 27, 2017
663
#91

the timeline here doesn't add up. something is untrue

the non-apology tweet supposedly written by management was written at 2:08 pm polish time, yet he said it was written within minutes of him being fired, which didn't happen until hours later, at around 6 pm?
My guess is that he never wrote that other apology that he claims he did. He did this one and then got fired. He clearly is a gg sympathiser and is full of bs in the interview.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,527
#92
He's a fucking liar like all these gamergate shitheads. The only thing I believe here is that his supervisors are gamergaters too.
 
Oct 27, 2017
612
#93
Dude couldn't do the job, so he deserved to be fired, but who doxxed him? That shit's not right. Ended up just getting his poor parents harassed.
People were doxxing him in the very thread about him. I agree he deserved to be fired though. There are lots of people in PR who haven't been transphobic or insulting to their audience to take his place.
 
Oct 30, 2017
3,088
Denmark
#94
"I empathise and strongly support LGBTQ folk from all walks of life. Video games are for everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexauilty, ability or religion. It's a mistake that has cost me an incredible amount. Everyone has the right to exist and live, it was a shameful mistake to make light of this. I will do better."
For me I'm leaving it at this.

It's one thing to slip up and make a bigoted "accidental" tweet once, but it happened 3 times, and his excuses are disingenuous at best even though I fully sympathise with the situation of being left in the dirt and figuring out where to go next - I've been there myself in my life as a student. However, for fuck's sake, he was the COMMUNITY MANAGER, hello?? Reading a bit into the article he mentions how WoW saved him from growing up socially awkward. I'm sorry to hear that and I don't wanna slight WoW fans but honestly if you're socially awkward unless there's a disorder at play it's most likely from not going out enough - again, been there myself... and WoW is not going to be the one-size-fits-all solution to that, and the point I wanna get at is that it's no wonder you become a community manager who makes cluelessly bigoted jokes, if your one frame of reference for social banter is a video-game.

Honestly, my feelings on this is like "godspeed to him" but he NEEDS to be honest with himself and others that he was saying these things because he wanted to cross a line, the excuses make no sense to me, it was 3 times! He needs more PR training and more knowledge of what it means to be a community manager, and then if he can help himself from posting tweets at the expense of entire demographics, he can get a second chance if it was up to me, but he needs to mature.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,246
#96
"I don't know much about this gamergate stuff" is the official phrase of gamer gators.
That's like the MLM sales people trying to sell their model but at the same time telling you repeatedly about how they're not a pyramid scheme nor are they MLM.
People were doxxing him in the very thread about him. I agree he deserved to be fired though. There are lots of people in PR who haven't been transphobic or insulting to their audience to take his place.
It was more like 1 or 2 users who posted a his linkedin account and that Anita Sarkeesian article he wrote, nothing more. The mods clamped down on the posts asap and told people to stop posting them since we didn't know whi might have posted the tweets.
 

Paul

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,682
#97
Hands up which of you called up the guy's dad and screamed "bigot!" at him. Don't all raise your hands at once.
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,715
#98
If you really want to a make a statement, tell them to close your account. And tell them why.
This is what I did. They actually failed to respond to my first request to have my account deleted. I had to be more stern with my second request, but they finally got rid of my account. Don't really care about the games I lost. Think I had probably around 30-40.

At this point, there's no way I'll be supporting another GOG or CDPR release.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,740
#99
He messed up too many times, so makes sense that he'd get the boot.

Yep, and banned the person who did it.
Mind you, they only posted the public twitter account of the dude which...doesn't really qualify as doxxing I don't think.
After people had his name it probably wasn't hard to find out where he lives. It was a really shitty thing to do, especially when people weren't even sure if he wrote the tweets.