Basically, Hepler suggested six years ago that since games have a skip dialogue button, many games could expand their demographic to non-traditional players by also offering a "skip combat" button, allowing people to play them as interactive novels where the focus is on choice and relationships.
In the last month, she joined Twitter and somebody dug these comments up, leading to a number of people accusing her of destroying gaming and bullying and intimidating her with phone calls telling her to commit suicide and profanity laden (oftsen sexist and homophobic) tweets comparing her to Hitler.
Now, I don't think her idea works for all games but the idea that gamers must somehow "defend gaming" by brutally shutting down her idea smacks of fundamentalism. This reminds me of things that frustrate me in comics, cinema, and academia from people who appoint themselves fans and defenders of a genre or a media.
I say, let her design games that allow skipping combat. Gamers don't have a right to define what gaming is. Comics readers don't have a right to define what constitutes a comic or an obligation to challenge something that threatens what you like with something new. If she makes games where the central mechanic is interactive fiction, let her do that and don't buy them if you don't like them. Games, movies, whatever don't have to adhere to rigid definitions and this underscores my point: don't be fans of a media/genre. Be fans of specific works that appeal to you for specific reasons.
I like super-heroes IN GENERAL and I like optimistic heroes. The Boys doesn't threaten me in any way as long as somebody is doing a take on Superman that doesn't feel the need to respond to or incorporate The Boys. The world doesn't need me defending what super-heroes are or are not. I just wish I could convince everyone to stop defending the idea that there is one ideal for how things should be, whether consumer or content producer, and start focusing on producing and appreciating products with an internal sense of integrity. "The industry" doesn't exist. The "state of gaming" or "state of comics" is meaningless on a certain level. Companies and consumers, IMHO, need to abandon the idea of something successful defining "how everything should be" or protecting against works that don't fit into our prefered views.
And if you call someone up and encourage them to commit suicide over an opinion on art or commercial products, you deserve to get smacked upside the head by your mother, publicly.