Ron Gilbert created headlines last month when he announced that he would take a step back from talking about his new game Return To Monkey Island — the long-awaited sequel to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. The veteran developer made the decision after receiving a number of personal attacks and threats, directed at him and other members of his team due to the game's new art direction.

Not satisfied with letting the hate win, however, a Monkey Island fan has gone out of his way to gather as much support for the creator as they can.

Return to Monkey Island
Image: Alessio Pianesani / Lucasfilm Games

Alessio Pianesani is a creative director at the Italian media publisher NetAddiction, who has been a fan of the series ever since playing the original on the Amiga 500 back in 1990. After seeing the wave of abuse directed at one of his favourite creators online, he didn't want to just sit back and watch. So he instead started a petition on, asking fans of Gilbert to sign and show that another kinder internet is possible.

Here's what Pianesani had to say about the petition:

"Nothing is more important in creating art than the author's prerogative. It can be analyzed, criticized, liked, or disliked, at the end of the day. But one thing that has no place is hate or harassment of the people behind a project in the hopes that you have any kind of right, as a fan, to bend the drive of the authors towards your will.

"In the social sphere, where hate has become the norm to express yourself, we want to do something stupid, but still meaningful: a petition that asks for nothing but invites artists to keep doing the hard job in the only way it is meant to exist, such as the author's vision."

The reaction to the petition so far has been incredible, with over 4000 people signing the petition and many of them using it as a way to send messages of support to Gilbert and the team.

One fan wrote:

“[Monkey Island] played a part in shaping me into who I am. I am so happy that another Monkey Island is on the way with Ron at the helm. I can’t wait to be able to sit down a play a new adventure with the characters who are part of my soul and meet some new ones too. Thank you Ron and team.”

Another, meanwhile, added:

“Playing Monkey Island with my father is one of my earliest memories. Ron, you are an absolute legend in gaming and an inspirational artist for all of us."

With all the negativity that surrounds new releases and fan expectations online, it's a welcome change to see fans stepping up and simply expressing thanks and support to the people who make their games. While for sure, the new art style won't be for everyone, it's beyond the pale to start threatening or abusing creatives to try and get your own way. If you want to add your name to the petition, you can do so by clicking this link.