IGDA director tasks studios with setting up social media guidelines

IGDA director tasks studios with setting up social media guidelines

International Game Developers Association executive director Jen MacLean (pictured) wants games companies to start outlining clear social media guidelines.

The statement comes in the wake of ArenaNet’s dismissal of two narrative writers over a heated exchange on Twitter. The IGDA feels the debacle strongly highlights the need for studios to set clear and consistent guidelines on how their employees behave on social media.

"Often, game developers love engaging with their player base, and the interactions can be very helpful for both the developers and players," said MacLean.

"However, without clear information from an employer on social media use, interacting with people as a game developer can jeopardize someone's job and career, and even their personal safety.”

“The IGDA strongly encourages its members, both as individuals and as studios and partners, to clarify the guidelines and expectations around social media use, both in professional and personal accounts.”

In service of this, the IGDA has put together a list of 20 questions to inform any such guidelines. Their lineup includes questions such as “Are staff allowed to have personal social media accounts on which they identify themselves as an employee of the company?”, and “If a targeted harassment campaign is directed at a staff member or members, what steps will the company take to protect them?” The full list of questions is available here.

Developers should be taking note, as the discussion around ArenaNet continues to heat up. A recent interview with former ArenaNet writer Jessica Price highlighted just how suddenly employees could lose their jobs over social scandals, even at assumedly progressive-minded studios

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.