Jennifer Hepler

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Name: Jennifer Hepler
Also Known As:
Occupation: Writer at BioWare
Medium:
Works: Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II
Official Website(s):
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

Contents

Jennifer Hepler is one of the head writers for BioWare. She wrote the Deep Roads portion of Dragon Age: Origins as well as the character of Anders in Dragon Age II.

Fan Harassment

In February 2012, Reddit users took quotes from an interview Hepler gave 5 years earlier and photoshopped them next to a picture of her.[1] Insults regarding her gender, intelligence, and physical appearance commenced, and users falsely attributed other quotes to her, which encouraged further abuse. Her Twitter was spammed and she was contacted on her house; finally she deleted her Twitter. The bullying prompted BioWare to take an official stand to support her, and the company released a statement as well as donated $1000 in her name to an anti-bullying charity in Canada.[2]

Some gaming fans saw this as an indication of a larger pattern of misogyny in video games.

Oh, did I not mention that this person who works in the gaming industry is female? That’s because I don’t want this post to be about gamers hating women. Do I think the fact that Hepler is female made some of the vitriol leveled at her more vitriolic than it would have been otherwise? …Possibly. Do I think that there were misogynist aspects to the specific words that were chosen to be used against her? Absolutely. But I think what this is actually about is some gamers violently reacting to a perceived scapegoat that they can blame for a trend in games towards a greater measure of inclusivity, a topic that is related in a number of ways to the acceptance of women into gaming, both as fans and creators.[3]

This attack prompted other fans to vocalize their support of Hepler and for women in gaming in general. Petitions and articles made rounds on Tumblr. Tumblr user king-in-yellow posted a summary:

The post was titled something like “this woman is the cancer killing bioware/ME” and you can IMAGINE the fanboy reaction. A WOMAN with a VAGINA who probably LOVES SHIT LIKE TWILIGHT AND HARRY POTTER is making their manly, manly space marine game SUCK by personally implementing ULTIMATE PUSSY MODES like story mode, and by saying stories should have appeal to MANY DIFFERENT people, not just neckbeards who want to blow heads off. Also, WHY DO FAT TWIHARDS WANT GAY VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS IN GAMES THEY NEVER PLAY, THAT FUCKS THE GAME UP, not that i have anything against homoseuxality So, they started calling her at home, etc. The post eventually got so bad that the mods of the gaming subreddit took the post down, and posted something new saying CUT IT OUT, GUYS, STOP CALLING HER AT HOME. Which, well, many did not take kindly to.[4]

This occurred around the same time as fans' outrage over BioWare/EA charging for Mass Effect 3's release-day DLC, which some fans falsely blamed her for.

Links

References

  1. Inclusion: What Jennifer Hepler's Story Is All About, posted February 20, 2012. Accessed March 21, 2012.
  2. Our Statement of Support, posted February 2012. Accessed March 21, 2012.
  3. Inclusion: What Jennifer Hepler's Story Is All About, posted February 20, 2012. Accessed March 21, 2012.
  4. Support Jennifer Hepler, posted February 19, 2012. Accessed March 21, 2012.
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