That interview sums up the entire situation. The issue isn’t with the press interactions that may have pushed Fish over this edge, or even Fish in particular. This is the sort of world we live in now. You open yourself up to constant abuse, hate speech, and hounding if you dare to release any creative work.
This goes for game developers, this goes for critics and reporters, and this goes for artists, photographers, or people making Youtube videos. It’s universal. The ability to soak in, digest, and live with abuse is a prerequisite for being in the public eye, or existing online in some form next to your creations.
David Vonderhaar is the Studio Design Director on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Recently it was announced that a gun in the game was being balanced. “The DSR fire time was 0.2 seconds. It’s now 0.4 seconds,” Vonderhaar said on Twitter. “The rechamber time was 1.0 seconds. It’s now 1.1 seconds.” He also said that he didn’t know if these fractions of a second are worth threats of violence.
That’s not hyperbole, and in fact he was being very calm about the sort of messages he was receiving, some of which you can see in this tumblr. I want to quote a few, and I’m not going to edit any of the words or spelling. This is what we ask the people to make our games to wake up to every morning. This is their diet of fan interaction.
That stuff never happens to bloggers. We of a matter of course are very creative in our insults over here in the political sphere, and in fact when I do it most people aren’t really sure if I said what they think I said, or if it perhaps has that other, more benign meaning.
Coding, games or whatever, requires considerable personal intense effort, whereas blogging is more about the delete key, and on the fly modification of thought. It almost rises to writing. It also helps if your readers know you’re a bastard.