Wilde posted a column on PC Gamer advocating for the end of the term “PC Master Race” (while making some comparisons of the term to the Nazis) but I don’t think he expected what the fallout would be. While he had to weather the unfortunately expected personal attacks, he also had his personal life dragged into the matter. That’s because Wilde is dating a communications specialist for Ubisoft while still writing about Ubisoft for PC Gamer without disclosing his relationship.
In a fourth year human resources course, we were posed a question about what we would do if an employee was sleeping with someone from a customer business. I responded with the old Trudeau-ism of “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” What is personal is personal and it stays that way as long as it doesn’t affect my business.
That was the wrong answer according to the professor and whole rest of the class. The implication of the scenario was that my hypothetical employee was sleeping that person to make sales. They couldn’t be using each other just to use each other. She was obviously using him to reach another end.
Gaming is going through this same scenario right now. Zoe Quinn, the developer behind Depression Quest, is mired in scandal after her ex-boyfriend outed her as sleeping with a number of people in the industry, including a writer for Kotaku, which blew up into accusations of Quinn using sex to get positive coverage from the gaming press.
I’ve talked about the bought and paid for reputation of games news reporting before on the blog. However, not everyone in the industry has gotten the growing message that readers and viewers are increasingly concerned about the ethics of games reporting.
The latest example is from a recent press event held by Ubisoft in Paris for Watch Dogs. At the event, the attending invited press members were given free Google Nexus 7 tablets.