Sunday, January 24, 2016

"That's A. Rapp" or "how to tell if your treehouse needs pruning"

I put up a new video yesterday, about the twitter commentary from Allison Rapp, a member of Nintendo's Treehouse team. Apparently she seems to believe that Video games aren't the most important thing in the world, and we should "educate ourselves" on social issues and intersectional feminism..

If you make your living around video games production, development, or anything having to do with Video games in general and you state that video games aren't the most important thing in the world, you are clearly suffering from delusion, and could possibly benefit from finding work elsewhere. I hear that Offworld is looking for writers who suffer from the same delusion. Leigh Alexander will definitely benefit from having more idiots people like you.

Edit: Below is a written adaptation of the video for those who would rather read than listen to my voice. (I get that alot. )

So this bit of information came across my feed, recently, and I wanted to spend a couple minutes talking about it.

The following image, is from the twitter of one @alisonrapp, a former Game informer blogger (heh) and current member of Treehouse – Nintendo of America's localization, Product Management and QA team.

According to MarioWiki, Treehouse was originally established as a means of addressing the lackluster quality of English localization of games during the 8 and 16 bit era. The job entails dealing specifically with Japanese development teams to ensure that content in games fit well within the limits of what is acceptable to both the ESRB and target demographics. To put it short, I'll quote the wiki, itself.

“The Japanese developers also consult Treehouse to prevent overly Japanese-specific cultural content from being included in the games, as to ensure Nintendo games have an "international" feel ” .

Below is a link to the 2004 Nintendo World Report interview with Bill Trinen, who goes a bit more in depth with the information. Don't worry, it's not really all that negative, the interview is actually pretty funny and talks about the more crazy stuff that goes in for approval than anything. But for the sake of context, it's there if you want to view it.

Getting back on subject. I'm going to show you Rapp's tweet first

but enough about my job at Nintendo, Let's talk about me...

The most interesting part of that, is that it looks like there no context as to what brought on that statement. It seems like it pops in from out of the blue. Like a glitched loading screen in smash bros.


And rightfully so, people were kind of pissed about this. Not only did this come off as obnoxious, it makes the assumption that the person posting it really has very little interest in their job, and more interest in pushing around their ideological bilge water.

One - Who cares if you don't think that Video games aren't the most important thing in the world. I'm sure the number of people who follow you because of your political leanings were clearly eclipsed by the ones adding you because you were involved with and talking about Video Games. That's usually how these things work.

Two - Intersectionality has absolutely nothing to do with video games, Your lord and savior, Anita has proven this with her current crap oh.. I mean crop of videos, which are terribly researched and feature arguments that have more holes punched through them than the entire rogues gallery of Hokuto No Ken.

Three - People have been having intelligent conversations about games since before this person had even been born. We will be having these conversations even after you've left Nintendo and went on into your eventual path of working for boing boing, writing articles for offworld that maybe five people will read, and when the members of your immediate family read what you wrote and give you those obligatory thumbs ups, you'll sit back and wonder what you're doing with your life.

I'm sorry it's just really easy to get her and Leigh Alexander confused. Their lives seem to be traveling along the same path..

I just find it incredibly interesting to hear statements such as this when your income revolves solely around that same thing that you proclaim is “not the most important thing in the world”. Well that's nice for you, but to the millions of people out there who enjoy playing video games and dipping their metaphorical toes into the many worlds of Nintendo to them that is one of the most important things, and you have absolutely no right to proclaim otherwise from some irrational state of privilege .

If anything games should be the most important thing to you, because you're handling them. They're going through your group for Quality assurance, and to make sure they're able to get the proper ESRB rating so they can hit those target demographics and make sure you and your silly ideologies are gainfully employed.

Maybe I should put it in layman's terms, and refer to your boss' mission statement in 2006....
My name is Reggie, I'm about kicking ass I'm about taking names, and we're about making games

When I think about Nintendo, I usually think about a bunch of metaphorical and sometimes literal mad scientists, and people who are genuinely passionate about their work. While I obviously am not going to let a comment from someone, who clearly has a political agenda, ruin the three decades of love I have built for the company, this warrants genuine criticism, and brings up some interesting points;

Some of you will remember Chris Pranger, former employee of Nintendo who was let go from the company due to appearing on the Part-time Gamers podcast without approval, and making a series of off-the-cuff statements about the company and it's employees.

Others will remember Dan Adelman, who was integral to Nintendo's Idie initiative, and how the company came down hard on him in 2014 about comments made on twitter criticizing the 3DS's region locking. Adelman had been banned from using the social media platform, and ultimately wound up leaving the company.

Both cases are quite extreme compared to Alison's twitter gibberish, but it always comes back to one particular point; historically, Nintendo does not play when it comes to dealing with off-color comments from employees.

When looking at taking traffic of websites who indulge daily in talking about topics that Allison wants you to educate yourself on, you tend to notice that not even the fans of those sites care about intersectionality, oppression or any of that crap.

People ultimately want to be entertained whether through video games, interesting news, or whatever. We're already seeing a bit of backlash on the internet over Rapp's statements, but I'm actually curious as to what's going on behind the Red and gray walls of NOA headquaters, and how are they handling the situation.

Rest assured, I'll be in “wait and see” mode as this plays out.

- I'll see you next bossfight.


  1. AMA"(Ask Me Anything
    )" Rohingya refugees: Choosing what to save and what to leave.

    1. Where Treehouse is concerned, the further things go on the less there really is to save.