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WHTM Survey: 100% of KotakuInAction commenters don’t give a shit about rampant harassment in online gaming

Cat troubled by harassment in online gaming

By David Futrelle

If you ever wonder why online gaming culture is such a complete shitshow, it’s not because it’s dominated by angry teenagers who think it’s fun to call other players “f*ggots” and possibly even send SWAT teams to their houses. These people could easily be banned, No, the real problem is that so many adult gamers either don’t give a shit about the rampant harassment or think it’s actually pretty cool.

Consider, for example, the reaction of Reddit’s KotakuInAction to a report from the Anti-Defamation League suggesting that the overwhelming majority of online game players faced harassment, much of it severe and prolonged abuse that went beyond name calling to violent threats, stalking and even doxing.

You might have expected that even in the KotakuInAction subreddit — which still identifies itself as “the main hub for GamerGate on Reddit” — there would be some small number of commenters who would find this at least a teensy bit disturbing. But when I looked in on a thread devoted to the topic today, there were 56 comments up and not a single one of them suggested that all this harassment might be, you know, a bad thing. In other words, according to my completely unscientific survey, 100 percent of them don’t give a shit.

Instead, some commenters minimized and misrepresented the study’s results; others mocked the victims of harassment; still others more or less reveled in the toxic culture portrayed. A few posted neutral comments and jokes. But no one stood up to take issue with the culture of harassment.

The ADL’s findings are genuinely distressing:

Seventy-four percent of adults who play online multiplayer games in the US experience some form of harassment while playing games online. Sixty-five percent of players  experience some form of severe harassment, including physical threats, stalking, and sustained harassment. Alarmingly, nearly a third of online multiplayer gamers (29%) have been doxed.

Much of this harassment seems to have been motivated by some form of bigotry — from misogyny to racism.

Fifty-three percent of online multiplayer gamers who experience harassment believe they were targeted because of their race/ethnicity, religion, ability, gender or sexual orientation. Thirty-eight percent of women and 35 percent of LGBTQ+ players reported harassment on the basis of their gender and sexual orientation, respectively. Approximately a quarter to a third of players who are black or African American (31%), Hispanic/Latinx (24%) and Asian-American (23%) experienced harassment because of their race or ethnicity in an online multiplayer game. Online multiplayer gamers were also targeted because of their religion: 19 percent of Jews and Muslims also reported being harassed.3

So how did KiA commenters respond?

By dismissing those complaining of harassment as wimps:

They are privileged coddled children in adult bodies who need to spend extended time in the wild without help or support.

By telling victims to suck it up:

Be adult. Get called f*ggot by online stranger.

Mute.

Thats being an adult.

By suggesting that getting harassed was actually a badge of honor:

You’re not online gaming right if you’re not getting called a f*ggot.

By suggesting that the whole point of online gaming is to make others miserable:

If the person I’m playing against online is having fun, I’m not having fun.

By encouraging those who get harassed to harass back:

Get called f*ggot by online stranger.

Call him the same.

By dismissing harassment as little more than meaningless “name calling.”

I don’t even think they know what harassment is. Calling someone a name and not making a continuous campaign of it is not harassment. It’s just being rude. Now what some of bluechecks do to Trump is harassment.

By literally declaring that “boys will be boys.”

its not harassment, its called smack talk and its just what guys do to each other to stop our egos getting out of control.

Or “kids will be kids.”

74% of adults get harassed by 12 year olds who like to smack-talk because that shit’s funny when you’re 12.

This is kids being kids. If anything it’s a parenting problem, not a society problem.

The game industry could take steps to significantly reduce the amount of harassment in online gaming. But they won’t, not so long as there is such a loud and vociferous pro-harassment lobby out there, on Reddit and elsewhere.

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Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Moggie

Sadly, it’s getting harder to find elephants who can perform without autotune.

LOL

@Alan
Sorry!

Dalillama
Dalillama
1 year ago

@Skye
No worries, I was just adding a bit more detail on why the South looks so much more racist than the North, despite the fact that if you took 100 random white people from the South[east] and an equal number from above the Mason-Dixon Line and measured their racial attitudes you’d find them to be fairly similar on a statistical level.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 year ago

I much prefer dubbed opera

I refuse to watch the live action Lion King, unless they release it in Finnish dub like the original version.

(Seriously speaking, I’m only half serious. I don’t think this will happen, and I might not bother even then.)

TB Tabby
TB Tabby
1 year ago

This just makes me proud to be an Overwatch player. Not only are cheaters, griefers and other toxic players banned swiftly, but they’ve added a mechanic that allows players to award Endorsements for playing positively and effectively. And if you want to take pleasure in other players’ suffering, you can take pleasure in the suffering of the banned manbabies complaining about how it isn’t fair when it totally is, which is why they hate it.

QuantumInc
QuantumInc
1 year ago

I play the Space Opera MMORPG EVE Online. It has been around for more than a decade and the developers always meant to give the players freedom to do whatever they wanted in this virtual galaxy. One option was to declare “war” on a group of players, allowing you to attack them anytime anywhere. For years people complained about the system but it remained unchanged. Then a year ago the developers noticed that the majority of war declarations were coming from just a handful of specific player groups; and they tended to declare war specifically against newer, less experienced players; and of course the wars were VERY one sided. They thought they were enabling a Sci Fi to have epic space wars, but some people found a way to turn it into something ugly. Of course there is speculation that the developers at CCP only changed their minds when they realized this was a significant reason why new players usually take their money else where.

It seems similar to Reddit, where the developers dreamed of a bastion of free speech where users could say whatever they wanted (within the appropriate subreddit). Individual subreddits could ban individual users, but somewhere you could find a community for anything. Then of course groups like “Incels” (which we know so well here) created subreddits. People saw how bad things could get, and reddit as a whole became associated with the worst of the worst. With a heavy heart the developers admitted that free speech shouldn’t be an absolutely absolute rule, and started banning subreddits such as Incel and FatHate.

They want to give people absolute freedom. They don’t realize that a minority of garbage people can ruin it for others. They maintain this naivete until they face some sort of consequence from the actions they enable.