Deck Nine is apparently no stranger to toxic dev culture

What can you do when your safe games aren't safe?

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

There is no ethical consumption under Capitalism. While I’ve known this for a while, that concept seems to scream louder and louder as time goes on. The way I used to understand it was born out of purchasing things that were made by exploiting a people. But, with Deck Nine, it also appears to apply to things we would like to enjoy that are born from toxic sources.

Hidden Nazi symbols at Deck Nine

Thanks to IGN, we now know that the Life is Strange developers may not be the developers we thought were behind the games. According to the report, Deck Nine has had a Nazi symbol problem. There have also been reports of a toxic work culture within the studio.

According to some developers, Nazi dog whistles starting showing up in the game. The numbers 88 (“Heil Hitler”) and 18 (“Adolf Hitler”) were being flagged along with racist memes and the Hagal rune. Unfortunately, it took longer than it should for actions be taken to remove them.

CEO Mark Lyons finally acted when enough reports were made on the issue. Investigations Law Group was brought in to get to the bottom of the incidents. Lyons also stated that Deck Nine would be implementing an anti-hate-speech policy along with mandatory training.

However, since the investigation concluded, nobody knows what came of it. Also, with regards to the policy changes and training, employees have not seen these go into action yet.

For a development studio to make games about inclusion and highlight marginalized groups, its troubling to hear what’s happening inside the studio.

To put that in this game in particular feels targeted. It feels like a way to say, ‘You don’t get to have this either.’…It’s not a little thing. If you meant it as a joke, it doesn’t matter. It reads the same.”

Deck Nine developer told IGN

Naturally, Deck Nine did not take the report lying down.

We will soon be integrating new tools into our development pipeline to ensure all terms, imagery, or symbols created in our games – including any and all background content – receive additional vetting for potentially offensive or hateful expressions and are properly flagged and assessed to avoid inadvertent inclusion. We are also rolling out formal anti-hate speech training and processes to better inform and give team members actionable resources to remain vigilant as a collective studio.”

Deck Nine

It seems so simple and easy to make the necessary moves when hate speech is being reported. But, yet again, when people speak out against hate they are experiencing, those in power will drag their feet or flat out ignore those asking for help.

Source: GameSpot

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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