Nintendo spokeswoman says she was fired because of pressure from Gamergate

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Alison Rapp, a spokeswoman for Nintendo, was fired yesterday after dealing with months of online harassment from the gaming community.

Nintendo claims that its decision to terminate her came after it discovered that she was moonlighting at another job. Rapp says that the gaming giant terminated her after caving to pressure from the Gamergate movement.


When she was still with the company, Rapp was a part of Nintendo Treehouse, a team responsible for taking Japanese games and localizing them for other countries.

In addition to translating a game's dialogue, Nintendo Treehouse was tasked with modifying certain cultural elements of games that might be considered distasteful or confusing in other markets. Recently, the team came under fire for removing a controversial mechanic from Fire Emblem Fates that involved slipping a character a potion to make them fall in love with the player against their will.

While Rapp herself had no hand in the localization process with Nintendo Treehouse, she became the target of a number of online attacks from Gamergaters alleging that she was somehow an advocate for pedophilia.


As word of Rapp's firing spread, Nintendo attempted to get ahead of the inevitable backlash by doubling down on its stance that moonlighting was strictly forbidden under Rapp's contract.

"Alison Rapp was terminated due to violation of an internal company policy involving holding a second job in conflict with Nintendo’s corporate culture," Nintendo said in a statement to Mashable. "Though Ms. Rapp’s termination follows her being the subject of criticism from certain groups via social media several weeks ago, the two are absolutely not related."


That, Rapp says, isn't true. In addition to her side work being anonymous, she claims that it was perfectly within the bounds of company policy. The issue, she argued, was not just that Gamergaters came after her, but that the gaming industry as a whole is still a largely hostile place towards women.

While with Nintendo, long before the online harassment began, Rapp says that the company took issue with her being vocal with her thoughts about rape culture and would deny her opportunities provided to other employees.


"Do you think that if the industry wasn’t afraid of women, sex-positivity, etc. that the anon moonlighting I did would have been a problem?" she said. "This is not normal for a professional industry. Which brings me back to what I was trying to say earlier: We can all be better than this. We can make games a better, more inclusive, less frightened industry."