An online witch hunt over the weekend has resulted in a wave of toxic verbal attacks against a BioWare employee. Her alleged offence? Andromeda's questionable facial animations.
Allie Rose-Marie Leost works within an EA mo-cap lab in Vancouver, but was mistakenly identified as the lead facial animator on Mass Effect: Andromeda.
The game's facial animation has taken flak over recent weeks as further gameplay footage has been revealed. After playing the full game, we can confirm that it definitely leaves a lot to be desired.
But no reason – especially not animation in an RPG – is sufficient to start an online hate campaign. Leost began receiving messages of hate on Twitter after an article was posted to the Gamergate-linked blog Ralph Retort, alleging that "a cosplayer with no video game experience was the Lead Facial Animator for Mass Effect: Andromeda".
And once the font of misogyny was opened by one, of course, all the usual suspects wanted a sup.
Leost's Twitter was then bombarded with personal attacks with the same foul undercurrent. Here's a few select delights from her Twitter feed (and yes, of course there's strong language):
@allierosemarie you are the least talented person on the planet, congratulations- Piotruś (@neonflux2099) March 19, 2017
And that's not including the sexually explicit ones. Oh, what a wonderful place the internet is.
BioWare has since stepped in to put a stop to the behaviour by confirming that Leost isn't an animation lead on the project, which makes sense given that she works in an EA lab a long way from the main development team.
The behaviour is terribly reminiscent of Gamergate in its aggressive sense of entitlement and abuse of female gaming professionals online. That incident saw women driven from the industry. Let's hope that doesn't happen this time.
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