Playboy, Kotaku Misreport On Nintendo Firing Employee

Patrick Klepek and Michael Rougeau are former members of the Game Journo Pros [Disclosure: I am also a former member]. The list was used by the biggest names in the gaming journalism ring to communicate, organize get-togethers, review parties, suggest who to hire, who to fire, and who to blacklist.

After the list was exposed by journalist Milo Yiannopoulos from Breitbart, the creator of the list, Ars Technica’s Kyle Orland, shut it down. Many gamers suspected a list like that existed but they had no proof until the leaks surfaced on Breitbart. Many more gamers believe that there’s another list out there and when you see former members regurgitating narrative talking points, it’s not hard to see why. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Recently Nintendo fired an employee due to a conflict of interest. Nintendo sent a statement to IGN explaining why they fired the employee, stating…

“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.”

They don’t mention what Rapp’s second job was, but a lot of the criticism they mention spawned from the spread of the following tweet that Rapp made about child pornography years ago.

smol pterodactyl on Twitter

This kind of legal bullshit pisses me off (read my IR thesis before you go hatin’ on me, kthnx).

Previous to Rapp being fired, Jamie Walton from The Wayne Foundation, an anti-sex trafficking organization, made it known to Nintendo that if Allison Rapp wasn’t fired, there would be some serious consequences, as reported by The Mirror. Walton made a follow-up tweet stating that she believed Rapp should be fired over those opinions from her thesis that she recently defended during online discussions.

Jamie Walton on Twitter

Do I think she should be fired? Absolutely. Many people have lost jobs over public web opinions. But, that isn’t my call. @NintendoAmerica

Of course, the original stories that were published at both Kotaku and Playboy don’t paint the whole picture.

Before Nintendo issued the statement explaining why they actually fired Rapp, both outlets – with both writers being former members on the Game Journo Pros list – published articles containing a narrative centered around Nintendo firing Rapp due to harassment campaigns from #GamerGate.

Patrick Klepek at Kotaku published his piece about Rapp before IGN published their statement from Nintendo. He frames it around Rapp being a victim of harassment from Neo-Nazis and groups employing “tactics” he attributes to #GamerGate. He rounds out the original article by saying that…

“Nintendo was publicly silent while one of their employees was harassed and smeared online over something she did not do. That’s a fact. It’s not in dispute. Nintendo watched Rapp become the center of a witch hunt and did nothing publicly to defend her. Despite my requests for comment, the company said nothing. As it turns out, maybe that silence said everything.”

To Klepek’s credit, he later amended the article with Nintendo’s statement and did note that #GamerGate hubs had many individuals criticizing Nintendo for firing Rapp in the first place.

However, many agree that being a public face for Nintendo and using one’s Twitter account to say highly inflammatory things and expressing fringe views was not a safe thing to do.

On a Heavy article that runs heavily with the harassment narrative – and quotes many of the same individuals from within the extreme left progressive clique – one user named Redfox points out that using a personal profile to represent a family-friendly company like Nintendo to push some extremist views is not a safe bet for maintaining employment, writing…

“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.”

Playboy’s gaming editor, Mike Rougeau, literally aggregated Klepek’s piece and then escalated it. While Klepek later went back in and amended his piece to include Nintendo’s statement, Rougeau went in guns-a-blazin’, originally stating…

“Nintendo fired Alison Rapp, a former product marketing specialist for the video game company. Rapp in recent months found herself the target of GamerGate, a hate group that’s been harassing and threatening women and other targets online since 2014.


“GamerGate’s harassment of Rapp was triggered by the hate group’s objections over changes made in certain Japanese-developed Nintendo games, including the recent Fire Emblem: Fates, as the games underwent a process called “localization.” Localization is a process by which cultural differences between Japan and the (in some ways) more conservative West are taken into consideration”

Rougeau frames the narrative that #GamerGate harassed and bullied Rapp and Nintendo until the Big ‘N’ caved and fired Rapp. No mention of the Wayne Foundation and no mention that there was a big debate in many #GamerGate containment threads about not wanting to get Rapp fired because some felt it would make #GamerGate “as bad as SJWs”.

Interestingly enough, Always Nintendo did actually include the information about the Wayne Foundation in their report, a report that is generally told through tweets with the added update from Nintendo. For the most part, they keep it neutral.

But what’s worse is that Rougeau’s article was spread around quite a bit before he later was informed of Nintendo’s comment and updated the piece.

Now the good part is that both sites updated their pieces. The bad part is that misreporting that this was all an anti-feminist, anti-woman, pro-Nazi ploy to pressure Nintendo to drive women out of gaming actually spread just enough to nearly get the citogenesis effect into play.

A perfect example is Oregon Live, who also misreported on the story originally, citing Kotaku for their information. Eder Campuzano wrote in the Oregon Live piece…

“For the uninitiated, GamerGate is a collective of folks who actively harass women in the industry under the guise of crusading for ethics in games journalism.”

Citation needed.

Campuzano went on to say…

“Rapp, a PR rep for Nintendo’s Treehouse division, was the movement’s latest target.
Their beef with Rapp? They allege she was behind the censorship of North American localization of Nintendo games such as “Xenoblade Chronicles X.” GamerGate supporters have accused Rapp of being the force behind the removal of a tool that adjusts female characters’ breast sizes in the game’s avatar creator mode.”

Despite updating the piece with Nintendo’s statements, Campuzano still maintains some of the original narrative and even gives away that his story was largely based on Kotaku’s piece. The Oregon Live writer states…

“Kotaku’s Patrick Klepek points out in this excellent (and lengthy) piece on online harassment, Rapp doesn’t even work on the localization team. She’s just been open about her feminist views online and supported social justice causes. You know, stating her opinion and such.”

So Playboy copied Kotaku, and then Oregon Live copied Kotaku, and both of them followed the narrative that Rapp was fired because of an organized campaign by #GamerGate. No one had any citations or proof to spare that it was actually #GamerGate. Literally, a boogeyman.

Now if there was an organized campaign by #GamerGate to get Rapp fired, it would have been nice if Kotaku or Playboy provided some links or photos or quotes. The only thing they seem to point to is the Neo Nazi website, which is the equivalent of a media outlet saying Hillary Clinton supporters are preventing Donald Trump from getting into the White House by linking to ISIS propaganda.

While it seemed like a hot story to rush to publication, there is no reason why other sites couldn’t have just waited for Nintendo’s response, which came fast and swift. In this case, IGN played it right by only including the relevant information they could prove and the information that was relevant to readers.

It’s dangerous when large websites focus on telling a narrative first before getting all the facts. We can easily see how both Kotaku and Playboy utilized their platforms to tell completely contradicting stories to what Nintendo stated. Whether or not what Nintendo stated is true would require further investigation.

The scary part about this is what would have happened if IGN had waited a day to post Nintendo’s response? We would be looking at another “Gamers Are Dead” barrage with one site after another repeating misinformation while peddling sociopolitical propaganda.

[Update:] Additional tweets from Rapp confirm that Nintendo did indeed fire her for her second job. Archives of the tweets are available where she states…

“Moonlighting is actually accepted at Nintendo. It’s policy. To pay off student loans (weeee), I started moonlighting under a fake name, and with no real identifiers.


“An anon found out, told [Nintendp], and here we are. It was moonlighting Nintendo didn’t like, despite the fact that it was anonymous.”

Various links have been made to some risque photos of Rapp with Nintendo products. According to some observers, they believe that Rapp being paid to model in non-family friendly situations while alluding to those risque photos on her official work account could be what led Nintendo to their decision.

(Vivian James image courtesy of Koishiji)



OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

53 thoughts on “Playboy, Kotaku Misreport On Nintendo Firing Employee


    Slams the PUBLISH button.

    Goofs off for about 15 minutes. Business as usual.

    Sees IGN has Nintendo’s comment on the situation. The decision has nothing to do with GamerGate. Nintendo condemns harassment. Breaks out in a cold sweat.

    The narrative is crashing.

    Thinks of what to do now.

    Comes up with a brilliant plan.


      1. He was always scummy, but he shows himself to be an unethical piece of shit when he fucked with Jamie Walton by posting her comments when she said no.

  2. Timing seems incredibly fishy that she would be fired for something totally unrelated. I wouldn’t be surprised if used this excuse so the company wasn’t associated with someone who is pro-child porn. Hell, despite the CP shit, she was bad at her job. She shit on customers who she didn’t agree with politically all the time. That’s not something a fucking PR rep for a company should be doing. People are gonna shit on GG anyway while ignoring the CP stuff and the fact that many in GG were against it, but I don’t blame the people did go after her considering she was for the exploitation of children.

    1. It’s really simple guys. 1) Wayne Foundation =/= GG. We can only hope to be as cool as the Batman team okay. 2) NEITHER Nintendo NOR Kotaku are going to admit that Rapp was fired for enabling child trafficking and child porn. That would be suicide on both ends. Ergo: Nintendo cites her selling camgirl/lewd pictures online that have Nintendo products placed in them (WORST PR EVER!!!!!) — which breaks their terms of service for their contract with her, and then they can keep saying “and please don’t look too heavily into this, we totally took care of it.”

      Kotaku is just that fucking 1) stupid and/or 2) evil. They either intentionally covered it up, or they’re too dumb to investigate their own blind ignorance and bigotry. I don’t really care which.

  3. So the thing now is it’s either
    >Nintendo is lying, it was all the terrorists of Gamergate!
    >Nintendo IS Gamergate and fired this poor woman for being a woman!

  4. Even I am having a hard time putting together the whole story of this.

    -There’s the gamers against her, believing she is responsible for censorship, overall the only true “link” to gamergate, but it’s not really a gamergate thing, it just overlaps with a lot of the same crowd.
    Odd fact about this, she is now tweating that she was against the censorship in xenoblade, which might be true, it is consistent with some of her stances, she definitely seems like an SJW happy to cash in her victim bucks but she doesn’t seem of the anti sex kind.

    -There’s the whole pedo deal, with her thesis, her statements, and most importantly the The Wayne Foundation involvement, plus a public campaign to bring awareness to it

    -There’s the official nintendo reasoning, she had a second job that was against their rules, and if one digs even deeper there’s some photos of her in somewhat erotic context, was that the job Nintendo objected to?

    Overall a consistent, unbiased and truthful reporting of all the facts around this is something we’ll have a hard time seeing because there’s so many angles.

    But like clockwork the corrupt media are already trying to omit facts, manipulate situations and twist the events to demonzie the gamergate boogeyman.

    Hopefully the situation will get clearer over time, I hate the feeling of confusion and not being sure of what is going on.

    1. It’s a nice little game of telephone.

      It goes like this: GG: Wow Treehouse SUCKS! Who are they? WHY DO THEY SUCK SO MUCH?
      Nintendo: meh pay no attention to the cucks behind the curtain there.
      GG: Uh are you aware that one of your “localizers” donated to a woman’s patreon despite her defaming your products and creating lies and narrative? It looks bad….
      Nintendo: REALLY DON’T CARE.
      GGR: oh are they the ones that censored Xenoblade?
      Rapp: Nuh-uh! I think children should have sexual agency! I even wrote my thesis on it and it’s on my LinkedIn (resume) profile!
      Parents: …. wait what?
      Rapp: >> I mean… I advocate that lolis should not be banned. Lawl, it’s a Japanese thing okay okay.
      GG: Um you advocate a lot of child porn which is kind of weird for a PR/marketing rep of a super child friendly company???? o_O
      Wayne Foundation: As an anti-child trafficking support group and network, we’ve investigated this, and we want you [Nintendo] to fire Alison Rapp.
      Nintendo: wait wait wait what is going on?
      GG: And get rid of all of Treehouse because they’re terrible
      Nintendo: Uh so Alison… you posted lewds for sale that have Nintendo products in them… you know that’s really bad for our company image and we have policies against that, right?
      Kotaku: WOW GG IS SCUM! And look! This Neo-Nazi website has the same anti-pedophilia view GG must have! THIS PROVES IT! GG IS NEO-NAZIS! JUST AS WE ALWAYS ASSUMED ALL ALONG!!!
      Nintendo: …… annnnnnnnnnyyyywhooooo /backs away slowly

      1. Oooh that makes so much sense, finally someone understands the picture thanks.

        I almost feel bad for GG now.

        They seem so….pathetic and desperate to get results, and in the end they barely did a thing, she sort of got fired herself but GG is still the bad guy.

      2. lmao that’s exactly it. I’m in both GG but also SJW circles, and the whole thing is just a trainwreck of magic. If GG was smarter they’d keep pointing out that Rapp is just a rep, all Nintendo did was go “Wow our disgusting bandaid is more gross than the scab… /rip” Buuuut GG tries… somewhere. Sometimes. When it isn’t running around in circles getting confused and barking at itself.

      3. Does it really matter? GG will get the blame anyway and in fact ive seen many GG’ers on 8chan argue it was her own fault she got canned for tarnishing Nintendo’s image with her drivel on twitter.
        And to be honest. Its hard NOT enjoy the complete meltdown the SJW side had when the news broke. lol

      4. True enough. I actually kind of WISH we’d had more influence, but admittedly my own stance prevented me from taking action in that way. I definitely sympathize more with the Wayne Foundation than I ever could with her, however. And I’d still like to see the rest of Treehouse fall.

  5. Amending is not really forgivable in my eyes. Most people will have already read the initial article and digested the initial information. They won’t go back to “update” themselves. So they will forever be acting from false information. They KNOW this, that’s why they rarely post a new article to announce corrections.

    Also, I don’t know why Kotaku isn’t dead yet.

  6. This just proves once and for all that Kotaku seriously needs to fucking go. Gawker needs to hurry up and give Hogan his check.

    As for Playboy, we already knew the end was near for them when they stop doing nude photoshoots. It’s only a matter of time now.

    1. Didnt anyone ask the pertinent question of who she had those saucy photos taken by?
      errrr…. my guess is they are or were due to appear in Playboy.

      Bonus points to said camwhore as well for product placement, and having the makeup lady do her up Loli stylee.

  7. Once again, it’s activism when they do it and an harassment campaign when anyone else does it.

    There are endless examples of feminists trying to get someone fired for something they’ve said online, and just as many examples of media outlets cheering them on.

    They’re trying to replicate the “never hit a woman even if she hits you” sentiment online.

    Not surprising, though. People on the internet are equal and feminists can’t tolerate actual equality.

      1. Thunderfoot and Armored Skeptic are two micro-penis possessing ignorant morons who couldn’t debunk their way out of a wet paper bag. Never once have they debunked a single thing in any of their videos with their broken logic that utterly lacks all common sense and wisdom.

      2. Just look at his channel, he’s talked about Anita a bunch of times and her various videos. A bunch of SJWs decided to go after his job and failed. The 3 prominent one: 1 had her business screwed up due to backlash/karma, 1 went crazy and is now accusing ArmouredSkeptic of raping ShoeOnHead, and the last one turned out to be a pedophile sex offender who deleted his account after he was found out.

    1. Right? and while many were against her being fired within GG, people who did call for her job because of the CP shit is a lot different than SJWs doing it because someone disagreed.

  8. “It’s activism when they do it and an harassment campaign when anyone else does it.”

    Bingo. These people are such slimy hypocrites. They routinely engage in blackballing to deny people jobs based on opinions. They stoke hate campaigns to get people fired for their opinions. Then these same quislings get caught with their hands in the cookie jar engaged in ACTUAL violations and then whine and moan about it when they’re called to account. They should all be fired not because of their beliefs, but because of their rank hypocrisy.

  9. Allegedly, the “moonlighting” consisted of her doing a nude photoshoot and trying to market said photoshoot under a different Twitter handle. However, she has identifiable tattoos, so the family-friendly company said “Nooooooooooooooope”.

      1. Why? The company has always posted a family-friendly atmosphere, including games. You’ll rarely find a game above the Teen rating on their systems. If this is the case–and sources point to it being so–then the company would be right to let her go for violating their policies.

        It’s also true that the company was likely looking for ANY reason to get rid of her, because of her controversial positions.

  10. Ah, it’s still a wonder how GamerGate became a boogeyman to these people. I feel like a bit of Konrad Curze flowing inside me.

  11. Now they’re doubling down on the narrative, releasing more hitpieces on how GG is at fault anyway and trying to rile people up on twitter to attack Nintendo.

  12. why is playaboy appealing to sjws? Oh wait, they no longer do nude photos.

    My fucking god what has happened to the world?

  13. I see MundaneMatt of YouTube is doing his usual of being a moderate, sitting on his moral high horse and preaching down to all of us regarding this issue.

    Whilst I agree myself that I would prefer to not use these kind of SJW/feminist tactics, I’m sure he already knows that SJWs and feminists do not reason with you. They do not logically debate with you. They do not operate on facts. Instead, they operate on lies, deceit, shaming and slander. They also have the complete backing of mainstream media and news outlets as well.

    That is why sometimes it will be necessary to ‘force’ the fight across, because standing back, staying on the moral high horse and being moderate gets you absolutely nowhere.

    1. – “I see MundaneMatt of YouTube is doing his usual of being a moderate, sitting on his moral high horse and preaching down to all of us regarding this issue.”

      That’s something I always disliked about MundaneScat. Instead of pressing SJW’s and 3rd wave feminazi’s he’s always going on about, “Maybe I’ll give them benefit of the doubt, maybe it’s all a misunderstanding, maybe we can all coexist with one another and be friends blah blah blah turn off that pesky ad-block blah blah blah.”

      I liked it better when he bashed SJW figureheads like Anita, Zoe, etc. in the early days of GG and show everyone just how bad and ignorant the regressive marxist left has gotten as the fascist religious right.

      Also, turn off that pesky ad-block. *wink*

  14. 2 days old I know I’m a fool on April fools but the biggest fools are playboy & kotaku.

    But some points really get me pissing mad firstly gamergate is not a hate group if it is what is anti-gamergate then the good guys err no. Gamergate is a consumer revolt.

    If I say I hate eggs & bacon or any criticism if it’s trivial or not it’s not a hate group so it a costumer revolt with a few minority rotten apples in the mix. Then come along anti-gamergate that got SJWs.

    & the whole farce is brewing up for years with censorship way before gamergate started the same year monpiece that SJWs loathe & Zoe Quinn & media ethics & game jouno pro that kick off gamergate.

    The rise of echhi games of course didn’t help the matter it because of them that SJWs media press websites have called out on questionable content & not about the gameplay. Then Alison rap & ninty treehouse & her views on pedophhilia in her report I found that ironic that as a feminist SJWs she has a bad time with questionable cartoon fictional characters of a sexual kind but true supporter of child porn from her report.

    Should she get the sacked well yes why who censored every game under the sun she was lead team player. Her views that she took her into work didn’t help because her views influence the discussion to censored games a proper response should be leave your views at home & not bring it to work. She should not be single out though there are others with her with that same kind of views.

    Lastly @billy D I’m glad you disclosed your ties with game pro just think if gamergate didn’t happen & Zoe Quinn & others play by the rules this whole mess wouldn’t even exist. ?

  15. I was fired from Nintendo for being sick yet they threatened to fire me for taking any sick days despite having a fever of 104F. Also that sexual harassment policy is bullshit because I was sexually harassed there more than any other job I’ve ever had and my supervisors refused to take action. They pay crap and treat their employees inhumanely.

    1. Interesting. Did you keep records of any of this? E-mails? Hospital bills? Anything dated? You could easily have a case against Nintendo with sufficient evidence.

      1. They refuse to handle nearly everything by email, voice only… now I know why. I have some voicemails but no recordings of the conversations. Wasn’t enough to file a case, unfortunately.

        Fun fact: On the first day I started working there I walked past a guy watching porn on his computer. Bold move.

      2. Can you descibe what kind of porn he’s was watching? And be specific and thoroughly detailed. I’m doing research to quench my uhh… academic thrist.

  16. A guy (Nintendo fanboi) who follows her on Twitter bought her a nightie. Not his fault, but for sure hers for putting up her Amazon wishlist in her profile, the same Twitter she used to help market Nintendo stuff. And why does she need a wishlist for non friends and family when I gather she probably wasn’t being paid half bad? This is just one of the problems I see. Most companies don’t let you accept gifts, and that’s without asking for them

  17. “For the uninitiated, GamerGate is a collective of folks who actively harass women in the industry under the guise of crusading for ethics in games journalism.”

    Citation needed.

    That would be facts, reality, you know. Things cemented by the actions of the hate group and easily found with a cursory web search. For instance, one of dozens of instantly found articles showing proof of their disgusting anti-woman, ignorant, hateful group (remember, this is a group who’s name was founded by known public idiot and ignorant American Adam Baldwin).

    1. That would be facts, reality, you know. Things cemented by the actions of the hate group and easily found with a cursory web search.

      *Links to Gawker.

      Bwahahaha. Are you serious, son? Surely you can point to some actual facts and not just hearsay from Sam “bring back bullying” Biddle… the same guy who cost Gawker potentially close to $10 million in lost revenue thanks to GamerGate.

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