There seems to be a feeling that because you are an ‘indie developer’, that you are more like ‘us’, the ‘regulars’. Therefore, making you more approachable, especially over social media. The news about Phil Fish is just the latest example of the vitriol that creators in the public eye have to deal with.
I’ve always liked Phil Fish, and like many, I was looking forward to FEZ for a long time before it came out. While his opinions were often polarising, they were always just that, his opinions.
Did I agree with his comment that Japanese games "just suck"? Nope. Did it bother me or make me like him or respect him as a creator any less? Of course not. I’m sure he wouldn’t agree with every one of my opinions, and why should he? The reaction to his obvious quip that "PCs are for spreadsheets" was startling.
Here is a man being chastised (and that is a horrifically polite word for what has been happening to him and others), not only for creating and releasing something to the public, but for the audacity to share a bit of himself with us. To actually interact with the ‘fans’ directly, and not present a ‘PR-friendly’ version of himself. Other developers have spoken out on the type of treatment they receive, just for being active on social media.
Every time I have attended a PAX East, I have been dumbstruck at the atmosphere. It’s so friendly, so accepting, so inclusive. I come away thinking that my community of gamers is more socially advanced than the rest of society. Then you realise that this ‘community’ is much larger than a PAX East, it’s much different in person, and it’s full of the same idiocy and hate that is, unfortunately, still abound in society.
Then you are ashamed to be a part of this ‘community’.
If Phil doesn’t reverse his decision, we have not only lost a sequel to a brilliant game, but possibly a very creative mind from the gaming industry.