David Gaider, lead writer on Dragon Age, has used his personal blog to explain his avoidance of the BioWare Social Network forums — something he puts down to them feeling “increasingly toxic” and hostile.
“The BioWare Social Network doesn’t constitute the be-all and end-all of BioWare’s fans,” Gaider writes. “They are certainly a group of passionate folks, and while I wouldn’t say they were all ‘utterly gross’ as you put it I do agree that the overall tone of the forums has become increasingly toxic.”
“I tend to largely avoid them these days, myself. Why? Because spending too much time there starts to make me feel negative – not just about the games we make, but about myself and life in general. That’s not a good feeling to have (…) the signal-to-noise ratio does seem to be worsening, and eventually you get the feeling like you’re at one of those parties where all anyone is doing is bitching. It doesn’t matter what they’re bitching about so much as, sooner or later, that’s all you can really hear.”
“At any rate,” he concluded, “rest assured that the BSN is not the only place we go to see what ‘our fans’ think about something. I suspect you’d get a skewed opinion of almost any game if you went solely by its dedicated online community. They certainly serve their place, and if you want to gauge the temperature of the hardest of the hardcore’s opinions about core matters there’s probably no better place to go… but representative of all fans? Not in the slightest.”