Starbound Dev Delays Development to Deal With a Sexual Predator

Starbound Dev Delays Development to Deal With a Sexual Predator

starbound screenshot

Lead developer Tiy says that a sexual predator has been using the Starbound community to target children.

Starbound lead developer Tiy has posted via Twitter that he is delaying development on the game "to deal with a sexual predator targeting children." Obviously, this is quite a puzzling, and alarming post, and many fans asked for elaboration. Tiy obliged, explaining that "we're working with authorities to deal with someone that's been using the community to target kids," and that the delay would be "Not a big delay, just a day for one developer, for those asking."

Starbound's community manager Molly further clarified the situation in a reddit post, stating "The person in question has been permanently banned and we're looking into how to proceed re: involving authorities. To clarify, it's not a serious 'We're delaying the game!' sort of deal, but situations like this do distract from actual game development."

She added that "There are a lot of underage people on our forums. If someone is messaging you in private in a way that's making you uncomfortable (especially in a sexual way), you can always message me or another staff member and we'll look into it and handle it."

Hopefully, the situation gets resolved soon. It's no secret that these sorts of sandbox "build-anything" games like Minecraft and Starbound are becoming increasingly popular with children, and the fact that the majority of players play them on public servers means that it can be easy for predators to get in contact with them.

Source: Twitter via reddit

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Taken at face value, good on 'em for acknowledging the problem and tackling it head on.

Way to go, chucklefish. Not only that they take the issue seriously, which everyone should when something like this happens, but they also chose to communicate with their audience instead of just keeping silent, like for example Telltale.

Now, Minecraft I understand. Its well known, and its also on consoles. But Starbound? A PC game on steam? An unfinished PC game on steam that won't make its way to consoles for a year? I didn't even know little kids knew about steam.

I mostly see teenagers, and older people on steam. Noticeably older women who use the word "honey" and "shooge" a lot.

Either way, good on chucklefish.

Ultratwinkie:
Now, Minecraft I understand. Its well known, and its also on consoles. But Starbound? A PC game on steam? An unfinished PC game on steam that won't make its way to consoles for a year? I didn't even know little kids knew about steam.

I mostly see teenagers, and older people on steam. Noticeably older women who use the word "honey" and "shooge" a lot.

Either way, good on chucklefish.

Consider that a kid with limited allowance can get some really cheap games via steam - or GOG if they're into that kind of stuff

And you see a lot of older women who use the word "Honey" "Shooge" a lot?

I don't think we're hanging out on the same parts of steam... :p

Ultratwinkie:
Now, Minecraft I understand. Its well known, and its also on consoles. But Starbound? A PC game on steam? An unfinished PC game on steam that won't make its way to consoles for a year? I didn't even know little kids knew about steam.

I mostly see teenagers, and older people on steam. Noticeably older women who use the word "honey" and "shooge" a lot.

Either way, good on chucklefish.

I meet a lot of very young people on steam, even in games like DotA, which is traditionally high skill and not the kind of testosterone-fueled experience that games like CoD are. I see a lot of chldren aged 10-14 trying out different games and actually often talking very openly to others in chat, adding them to their friends lists and then private chatting with them.

If there was a predator ingame with them, I'm sure he/she wouldn't have a hard time creeping on them. (shudder)

Ultratwinkie:
Now, Minecraft I understand. Its well known, and its also on consoles. But Starbound? A PC game on steam? An unfinished PC game on steam that won't make its way to consoles for a year? I didn't even know little kids knew about steam.

I mostly see teenagers, and older people on steam. Noticeably older women who use the word "honey" and "shooge" a lot.

Either way, good on chucklefish.

My 12 year old sister figured out how to make her own steam account two years ago and has been using her pocket money to buy cheap games from there whenever she's bored. Don't underestimate children, especially the ones growing up now right in the middle of the information age. They've been around computers and the internet since they were born and it's no surprise that they've become quite adept at using it.

Beyond working the cops when they say " hey this person is doing this, we need IP" you can't really stop this junk. Parents need to learn more about the internet and teach there kids to not really talk to adults asking for personal information.

Either you close it up like swapnote or something like this can always happen.

Eve Charm:
Beyond working the cops when they say " hey this person is doing this, we need IP" you can't really stop this junk. Parents need to learn more about the internet and teach there kids to not really talk to adults asking for personal information.

Either you close it up like swapnote or something like this can always happen.

I think the developers have a degree of control when it comes to blocking predators on their websites. Some games, i.e. Habbo Hotel, are rampant with child predators. Starbound not so much because its not an avatar based chat room. Still good on them for doing something about it.

Now this interesting... Why would they say that if there's as an active police investigation. Wouldn't that spook the perp? Also... is it even legal to say that when the cops are trying to find the person? This could be considered a warning to others that are implicated or the criminal himself.

thaluikhain:
Taken at face value, good on 'em for acknowledging the problem and tackling it head on.

Amen. This should be the normal and expected solution, but for some reason it feels different and I feel obligated to acknowledge it...

Well that is unfortunate news. Sadly unsavoury people will use anything they can to target and cause harm to others, but I'm glad to hear a developer is not blind to this and is working with authorities to ensure that their community is a safe place.

I've checked in on Chucklefish's forums a few times and they seem really on the ball with the whole community communication. Which is impressive given they are a small team in the middle developing their first game.

VanQ:

Ultratwinkie:
Now, Minecraft I understand. Its well known, and its also on consoles. But Starbound? A PC game on steam? An unfinished PC game on steam that won't make its way to consoles for a year? I didn't even know little kids knew about steam.

I mostly see teenagers, and older people on steam. Noticeably older women who use the word "honey" and "shooge" a lot.

Either way, good on chucklefish.

My 12 year old sister figured out how to make her own steam account two years ago and has been using her pocket money to buy cheap games from there whenever she's bored. Don't underestimate children, especially the ones growing up now right in the middle of the information age. They've been around computers and the internet since they were born and it's no surprise that they've become quite adept at using it.

My kids both have their own steam accounts and regularly spend chore money on games there. They are also very well trained on what is and is not OK with other people, and discouraged from public servers (Son, 13, can if he makes a case. Daughter, 10, not so much. Neither wants to.) It is so easy to forget how pervasive computers are now. It's like television when I grew up, it's just... There. As for Starbound, it is Terraria 2, really, and kids who loved terraria will flock to it.

 

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