How To Win Friends And Influence People The Kamiya Way
As any celebrity, athlete, musician, or game developer can attest, public speaking has some serious pitfalls. Quotes can be misinterpreted or taken completely out of context, and expressing your opinion can even cost you your job.
This dangerous climate is why so many public figures have media specialists handle their Twitter and Facebook accounts or avoid social media altogether. But not everyone is so fearful of speaking their mind.
One of the most entertaining developers on Twitter is Platinum Games' Hideki Kamiya, best known for his work on Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry, Okami, and Bayonetta. His no-bulls--- way of interacting with fans and trolls alike is unique in the video game space. Let's look at the way he carries himself to absorb some sage advice on how to present yourself in public and grow your profile.
[Warning: Harsh language is used in the following post.]
How To Field Fan Questions
Part of being a public figure is being a part-time community manager. Fans love having the ability to interact directly with their favorite creators, and naturally they have questions about how games are made, if the studio would consider working in another genre, or lore-specific queries about particular franchises. Anticipating these scenarios, Kamiya had the foresight to collect the most frequently asked questions from fans and answer them in one convenient spot. Watch the master at work, kindly pointing fans to this invaluable resource.
Western publishers are fond of touting which engine or programming they are using to create their games, giving insight that future game designers view as valuable as they decide which platform to work on. Kamiya prefers another method to encourage the next generation of creators:
How To Warn Against Offputting Behavior
Not every fan has the best intentions in social media. Some prefer to goad developers, calling them out for failures. Others may ask the uncomfortable questions that many journalists are too sheepish to ask, like about voting practices, which genres the creator dislikes, or who's their favorite Street Fighter character. But no one is going to surprise Kamiya in a moment of weakness. He is ever vigilant and careful not to answer questions on hot-button issues that could land him in trouble. Watch how he skillfully parries these quarries like a gentleman in a fencing match.
One of the keys to discouraging this type of behavior is to create a set of guidelines to help people understand what kind of questions you are and aren't willing to answer. You couldn't be more concise than Kamiya here.
But Kamiya also knows when to pull back the reins on his campaign against tough questions and fire a warning salvo instead. Here he is exercising a restraint rarely seen in social media.
How To Address Salacious Rumors
When you work on high profile games like Kamiya, rumors will invevitably pop up about the project. Many developers choose to disengage and ignore queries about the status of their games, preferring to leave this to the professionals in public relations. Not Kamiya. The Swiss Army Knife of game developers, he simply dons his PR cap and addresses the issue head on in a way that will likely be mimicked by marketing groups for years to come. He's truly a thought leader.
How To Take Criticism
Unsolicited opinions are like the cockroaches of the internet – they pop up everywhere, and even if you keep a clean house online, you're bound to see them turn up. The key to maintaining your public reputation in the face of these criticisms is to take a deep breath, let your anger subside, and meet the issue head-on, explaining your decision making in the process without being inflammatory so you aren't seen as a reactionary. Here, we see Kamiya do just that in a sound rebuttal to all who question his decisions.
How To Clear Up Confusion
When you've been making games as long as Kamiya (and successful ones at that) sometimes fans get confused about which games in a particular series a developer has worked on. It's a common mistake. The developer could clear up the confusion by answering directly or by providing a link to their MobyGames page. Kamiya prefers a bolder approach that also serves as a public service announcement, effectively killing two birds with one stone. His multitasking skills are unrivaled.
Many public figures feel too vulnerable online to truly open up to fans. Putting your emotions on your digital sleeve opens oneself up to ridicule and further negative emotions. But Kamiya does not go gentle into that good night. He instead rages against the dying light, unafraid to bare his soul to all who would bear witness.
How To Avoid Being Tagged In Tweets
One of the more annoying aspects of Twitter culture is being looped into a discussion mid-conversation. All someone needs to do is add your Twitter handle to a post and suddenly you're on the receiving end of every comment the participants make. Kamiya is busy making Scalebound; he doesn't have time for these shenanigans. Watch his subtle approach to extricating himself from these situations in action.
To really get your message across, you could set up a system that tweets out your position every 10 days or so like Kamiya has done. Look at the brilliant system in action:
There you have it – a comprehensive guide on how to conduct yourself online. Follow these simple guidelines and we're sure the number of followers you have will skyrocket, potentially raising your public profile. Thanks for the advice, Kamiya!