Alison Rapp: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Search Heavy

Alison Rapp: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Alison Rapp Nintendo Fired Gamergate

Alison Rapp pictured on her Twitter page.

A Nintendo PR exec has been fired after protests from gamers and anti-child-abuse activists drew attention to one of her controversial college papers. Alison Rapp’s thesis was titled, “Speech We Hate: An Argument for the Cessation of International Pressure on Japan to Strengthen Its Anti-Child Pornography Laws.” In it, Rapp argues that Japan “boasts lower rates of child abuse and rape than do most Western nations” and calls Japan’s child porn scourge a “red herring issue.”

Rapp announced her departure from the company in a series of tweets on March 30. She had been at Nintendo since August 2013.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Rapp Believes She’s a Victim of Gamergate Trolling; Nintendo Maintains She Was Fired for Moonlighting

On Twitter, Rapp wrote on March 30, “Today, the decision was made. I am no longer a good, safe representative of Nintendo, and my employment has been terminated.” Nintendo blogs, including Kotaku, had been writing since the fall of 2015 that #GamerGate trolls were targeting Rapp over her involvement in Nintendo’s Treehouse division. The Kotaku report notes that Nintendo remained silent while one of its employees was being openly abused. Upon her firing, however, the company released a statement:

Alison Rapp was terminated due to violation of an internal company policy involving holding a second job in conflict with Nintendo’s corporate culture. Though Ms. Rapp’s termination follows her being the subject of criticism from certain groups via social media several weeks ago, the two are absolutely not related.

Nintendo is a company committed to fostering inclusion and diversity in both our company and the broader video game industry and we firmly reject the harassment of individuals based on gender, race or personal beliefs. We wish Ms. Rapp well in her future endeavors.

Rapp responded to the statement on Twitter, saying that although she had a second job, to help pay off student loans, she did so under a false name with no “real identifiers.” She also wrote, “Moonlighting is actually accepted at Nintendo. It’s policy.”

Treehouse is Nintendo’s project team for localizing games. Trolls accused her of de-sexualizing Japanese games for the American market. Her specific role within the project was marketing, not in translating or in the creative department, according to her LinkedIn page.

https://twitter.com/alisonrapp/status/715287118851940353

In one tweet on the day she was fired, Rapp made reference to one character she was accused of altering, saying, “The reality is, I actually had no involvement with localized content changes of any kind. Come on, I *wanted* the XCX [Xenoblade Chronicles X] boob slider!”


2. Users on a White Supremacist Website Were Among Those Calling for Rapp’s Firing

Alison Rapp Facebok page

(Twitter)

In February 2016, after the release of Fire Emblem Fates, the abuse really kicked in for Rapp when someone uncovered one of her college essays.

You can read “Speech We Hate: An Argument for the Cessation of International Pressure on Japan to Strengthen Its Anti-Child Pornography Laws” here. Rapp describes the paper as “a journal article arguing that Western pressure on Japan to strengthen its censorship laws regarding media depictions of fictional minors is ethnocentric and a red herring designed to shift the blame for violence against children from governments and other patriarchal power structures to relatively passive media producers and consumers.”

The paper concludes:

Child pornography is not the cause of societal issues regarding children, and its total eradication should not be considered a solution to these ills. It is a red herring issue, and both politicians and the media would do well to recognize it as such.

It was awarded the 2011 Best Article award from the Honor Review.

Rapp was attacked by anti-child-abuse groups as well as a white supremacist website The Daily Storm. The latter argued that Rapp was on a “crusade” to legalize child pornography.

Early in March, Jamie Walton, president of the Wayne Foundation, a group that highlights sexual exploitation of children, said on Twitter that she had contacted Nintendo America about Rapp’s comments.


3. Rapp Has a History of Supporting Feminist Issues

According to her LinkedIn page, Rapp graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis in 2011. She also studied at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Prior to working for Nintendo, Rapp was a game writer for Game Informer Online, Work Effects, and Extra Life.

When writing on Twitter, Rapp commonly supports feminist issues.


4. Nintendo Is Taking Serious Criticism From Blogs & on Twitter

On Twitter, Rapp’s name became a national trending topic in the United States after her firing became public knowledge. Most users criticized Nintendo for its actions.

Here are some of the sharpest tweets:

https://twitter.com/WeAreMidBoss/status/715315253974667264

Nintendo Insider wrote that Rapp’s firing was likely carried out so the company could main its “family-friendly brand, and prevent any further prominence that Gamergate could continue to attract to such matter.” Meanwhile, Kotaku wrote that she had been fired after a “smear” campaign.


5. While Studying in Japan, She Was a Student of a Japanese Form of Theater in Which Men Play Women

In an interview on Augsburg College’s website, Rapp described her time studying in Japan:

My first big research project wasn’t even through URGO—it was an independent study with Martha Johnson. I’d gotten back from a study abroad in Japan, and wanted to keep studying the onnagata (men who play women in traditional Japanese theater), so I did.

I’d always enjoyed asking questions, soaking up info, and figuring out stuff on my own, so research was probably a natural fit.

Rapp says she studied at Sophia University in Japan in 2008.

21 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

21 Comments

Redfox

Fact #6: she’s a PR who doesn’t know how to keep her personal and professional lives separate which would have led to her getting canned for incompetence with or without GG. Cheers.

Discuss on Facebook