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Jennifer Hepler, the writer behind Dragon Age II, has parted ways with BioWare after receiving an unwarranted amount of harassment from the community, including threats on her life as well as threats toward her family.
Speaking to Polygon, Hepler discussed why such hostile backlash from "fans" could prove to be a major issue for the future of the industry, especially for females in the business.
It's something that comes up in almost every conversation with female developers. Overall, people seem to try to shrug it off publicly and fume privately, and younger women contemplating the field are reconsidering whether they have the stomach to handle what it currently asks of them.
A lot of the best artists and storytellers (and quite a few great programmers too), tend to be sensitive people – we shouldn't lose out on their talents because we are requiring them to be tough, battle-scarred veterans just to walk in the door.
That's the biggest risk in my opinion: that we will lose out on the talents of people who would make fantastic games that we would all be the better for playing, because they legitimately don't want to make themselves into targets.
There's a clear line between providing constructive criticism and outright threats. Do you see this problem only getting worse as the world becomes more and more connected through the internet? Let us know in the comments below.