Over 1,800 Gaming Professionals Condemn Hate Speech in Open Letter

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Over 1,800 Gaming Professionals Condemn Hate Speech in Open Letter

Andreas Zecher of Spaces of Play kicked it off, but you'll probably recognize one or two other names on his list.

On September 1st, Andreas Zecher of Spaces of Play decided enough was enough, and posted an open letter to the gaming community up on Medium. He invited those who wanted to sign it to Tweet him their details, and as of time of writing he has 1,837 people on his list, from companies like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Sony, Double Fine, BioWare, Rovio, CD Projekt RED, Telltale Games, Mojang, as well as a ton of independents and academics.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish.

If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites.

If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in.

Thank you

It's gaining signatures rapidly, at one point adding 3 to 5 signatures a minute. Just a few hours ago it was at 1,200 and counting. Zecher's having trouble keeping up.

Source: Open Letter

Permalink

Ugh... i'm glad the devs are paying attention but seriously they need to get the press to call off the social extremists.

Meanwhile, the trolls are furiously masturbating at all the attention they've received, and the games media and game devs alike get to have a guilt-free self-congratulatory wank over how they sure set those nasty gamers on the straight and narrow with the power of their self-righteous indignation.

licktheenvelope:
Ugh... i'm glad the devs are paying attention but seriously they need to get the press to call off the social extremists.

Which press members? Which social extremists? Why do you want "game developers" to tell "press" to "call off" extremism? Do you think the developers have some sort of power over the press? Or the press over the public? Is there some sort of agreement made between people you deem extreme and "press" to... be extreme?

Your statement perplexes me.

You're missing a part of the story there, Bub. There's already a petition out there that asks for All harassment to be reported and for journalists and devs to stop being ginormous [Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep]. http://www.change.org/p/the-gaming-industry-please-stop-the-hate

Anyways, as for this: I've said it once, and I'll say it again ... that open letter is like the GOP calling out to end corruption in politics ... It's a good cause, but for all the wrong reasons and from all the wrong people.

licktheenvelope:
Ugh... i'm glad the devs are paying attention but seriously they need to get the press to call off the social extremists.

Social extremists? The statement says "Diversity is good, please report harassment when you see it, make online communities a more fun place to be." What is so extreme about that?

We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish.

We agree. Hence the term "gamer", which is all-inclusive.

If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites.

If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in.

It's exactly what we're doing, hence #GamerGate, contacting advertisers etc.

Thank you

Why, you're very welcome person I've never heard of before and never want to hear of or from ever again!

Something tells me we're not talking about the same thing, are we? I'll just leave the respective gamer petition here for those interested (since it's not included in the piece-- consider including it in the piece):

http://www.change.org/p/the-gaming-industry-please-stop-the-hate?recruiter=147447955&utm_campaign=twitter_link&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition

Great...a bit vaguely worded and actions speak louder than words, but it's a start, I suppose.

Now can we PLEASE focus on what should have been the focal point all along: investigating recent allegations of corruption and conflicts of interest in games journalism?

Stewie Plisken:

We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish.

We agree. Hence the term "gamer", which is all-inclusive.

Just to pull you up there - the term gamer isn't inclusive or exclusive. No more than, say, police officer or student. There was a time when women couldn't be police officers and African American's couldn't attend schools (I can provide sources if you would like them). So the terms police officer and student weren't inclusive and the terms themselves didn't mean "no blacks" or "no women" but none the less, people were excluded. See, it's not the title that is inclusive or exclusive, it's the community and the culture.

Ronack:
You're missing a part of the story there, Bub. There's already a petition out there that asks for All harassment to be reported and for journalists and devs to stop being ginormous [Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep]. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.859585-Over-1-800-Gaming-Professionals-Condemn-Hate-Speech-in-Open-Letter

Anyways, as for this: I've said it once, and I'll say it again ... that open letter is like the GOP calling out to end corruption in politics ... It's a good cause, but for all the wrong reasons and from all the wrong people.

You linked this same article...

OT: A genuinely good set of ideals, though I do hope these people realize they are part of the community they are writing to.

Rocket Girl:

Stewie Plisken:

We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish.

We agree. Hence the term "gamer", which is all-inclusive.

Just to pull you up there - the term gamer isn't inclusive or exclusive. No more than, say, police officer or student. There was a time when women couldn't be police officers and African American's couldn't attend schools (I can provide sources if you would like them). So the terms police officer and student weren't inclusive and the terms themselves didn't mean "no blacks" or "no women" but none the less, people were excluded. See, it's not the title that is inclusive or exclusive, it's the community and the culture.

This does not reflect my personal experience with the term "gamer" and the community that uses it. But I do get where you're coming from; the point is that it's a term that applies to anyone that plays games regardless of gender, sex, race, political affiliation etc. and the recent consistent efforts to tear it down are not helping anyone and especially the plead of those developers.

Rocket Girl:

Stewie Plisken:

We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish.

We agree. Hence the term "gamer", which is all-inclusive.

Just to pull you up there - the term gamer isn't inclusive or exclusive. No more than, say, police officer or student. There was a time when women couldn't be police officers and African American's couldn't attend schools (I can provide sources if you would like them). So the terms police officer and student weren't inclusive and the terms themselves didn't mean "no blacks" or "no women" but none the less, people were excluded. See, it's not the title that is inclusive or exclusive, it's the community and the culture.

"Person" isn't all-inclusive today depending on which individual or group of people you wish to have define it. What's your point? Because it seems like you're being flippant for the sake of being flippant.

CpT_x_Killsteal:

Ronack:
You're missing a part of the story there, Bub. There's already a petition out there that asks for All harassment to be reported and for journalists and devs to stop being ginormous [Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep]. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.859585-Over-1-800-Gaming-Professionals-Condemn-Hate-Speech-in-Open-Letter

Anyways, as for this: I've said it once, and I'll say it again ... that open letter is like the GOP calling out to end corruption in politics ... It's a good cause, but for all the wrong reasons and from all the wrong people.

You linked this same article...

OT: A genuinely good set of ideals, though I do hope these people realize they are part of the community they are writing to.

Already fixed it, mate. But thanks :)

One other thing I'll note to spice up this comment cuz comments need meat to them here: I really wish that the "other side" would just stop trying to spin the narrative already. They lost. Or are losing, at the very least. The majority of people who are aware of this are already knowing better than to believe these attempts ...

Ermmmmm... good? That statement is so vaguely and broadly worded and says such broad platitudes it could basically be a petition for "Kicking puppies and kittens is bad". Yes harassment and abuse is bad. Everyone can agree on that. Its bad on any side of a debate. The gaming community also has the right to exist without heat-speech against it. Hate speech we have been seeing from the very people who we are supposed to love and respect.

So lets end hate speech. But lets not used this a anther platform to grandstand and wave your fingers at people we disagree with.

Stewie Plisken:

Rocket Girl:

Stewie Plisken:

We agree. Hence the term "gamer", which is all-inclusive.

Just to pull you up there - the term gamer isn't inclusive or exclusive. No more than, say, police officer or student. There was a time when women couldn't be police officers and African American's couldn't attend schools (I can provide sources if you would like them). So the terms police officer and student weren't inclusive and the terms themselves didn't mean "no blacks" or "no women" but none the less, people were excluded. See, it's not the title that is inclusive or exclusive, it's the community and the culture.

This does not reflect my personal experience with the term "gamer" and the community that uses it. But I do get where you're coming from; the point is that it's a term that applies to anyone that plays games regardless of gender, sex, race, political affiliation etc. and the recent consistent efforts to tear it down are not helping anyone and especially the plead of those developers.

We should use the term for everyone, yes, but I'd argue some people don't -- and enough don't for it to be an ugly, uninviting sore point on the community. For example, have you ever heard someone refer to some gamers as "casual gamers"? Others go on to say those "casuals" aren't real gamers. In fact, a thread on the Escapist recently, regarding the population of female gamers had several people ponder aloud if they were "real gamers" or just played casual, "iPhone" games. I can dig some quotes up for you if you like, but I imagine you've seen them as well.

No doubt the term gamer should be used freely by anyone that enjoys video games. But our community could use some work on just how we address some of our fellow video game lovers.

circularlogic88:

Rocket Girl:

Stewie Plisken:

We agree. Hence the term "gamer", which is all-inclusive.

Just to pull you up there - the term gamer isn't inclusive or exclusive. No more than, say, police officer or student. There was a time when women couldn't be police officers and African American's couldn't attend schools (I can provide sources if you would like them). So the terms police officer and student weren't inclusive and the terms themselves didn't mean "no blacks" or "no women" but none the less, people were excluded. See, it's not the title that is inclusive or exclusive, it's the community and the culture.

"Person" isn't all-inclusive today depending on which individual or group of people you wish to have define it. What's your point? Because it seems like you're being flippant for the sake of being flippant.

Could you show me which group you have seen saying person is not an inclusive term?

I agree, the amount of hatred about gaming is awful. Just look at these Twitter responses:

Devin Faraci - (Badass Digest)

KT Hache - (self proclaimed Social Justice Warrior)

K. Thor Jensen - (Videogames Journalist)

Adam Sessler - (Videogames Journalist)

Helena Horten - (Videogames Journalist for Vice)

Joel Golby (Videogames Journalist - Vice)

But gamers are of course the toxic culture.

Seriously?

I agree that harassment isn't okay but it is obvious you guys are using it to obfuscate the corrupt nature of games journalism.

Being undecided about my company/university name, I quickly deleted my first tweet and made another one.

Ended up on the list twice, anyways.

Let's clear something up right from the outset:

Is this call for civility and restraint going to apply equally to both sides here, or is it just going to demonise and muzzle anybody who dares speak out in criticism of the shouty, accusatory, progressive hegemony?

For example, under this pleasant gentleman's gentleperson's agreement, will baseless and potentially career-damaging accusations of misogyny, bigotry and whatever-phobia be discouraged?

Rocket Girl:

circularlogic88:

Rocket Girl:
Just to pull you up there - the term gamer isn't inclusive or exclusive. No more than, say, police officer or student. There was a time when women couldn't be police officers and African American's couldn't attend schools (I can provide sources if you would like them). So the terms police officer and student weren't inclusive and the terms themselves didn't mean "no blacks" or "no women" but none the less, people were excluded. See, it's not the title that is inclusive or exclusive, it's the community and the culture.

"Person" isn't all-inclusive today depending on which individual or group of people you wish to have define it. What's your point? Because it seems like you're being flippant for the sake of being flippant.

Could you show me which group you have seen saying person is not an inclusive term?

Well, if we're being entirely pedantic, the very existence of the term "Person of Color" (though as near as I can tell, it's fallen out of favour in the last few years) would suggest the term "Person" only applies to Caucasians.

But more on topic, I have to agree with the sentiment that this petition seems to be missing an important point, which is that the toxicity isn't exclusively found in those who play games, as we've seen with the behaviour of various game developers and journalists with regard to this entire debacle.

Hero in a half shell:
I agree, the amount of hatred about gaming is awful. Just look at these Twitter responses:

Devin Faraci - (Badass Digest)

KT Hache - (self proclaimed Social Justice Warrior)

K. Thor Jensen - (Videogames Journalist)

Adam Sessler - (Videogames Journalist)

Helena Horten - (Videogames Journalist for Vice)

Joel Golby (Videogames Journalist - Vice)

But gamers are of course the toxic culture.

You're a star, I've been looking for more stuff like this, to add to my collection of the 'open-armed love and compassion' Polygon described in their article in defense of the industry.

Please, allow me to add some of my own...

OT: Which petition went up first, this one or Boogie's? Because I notice they are both worded almost identically, but for some reason change.org doesn't tell you when a petition first went up.

Adultratedhydra:
Escapist remains silent for a week and then joins the legions of assholes shitting on the people who make their living with not one but two pieces squarely aimed at the gaming community rather than standing with it? Way to take a stand Escapist, seeing as you are clearly under the impression you would do fine without the gaming community seems you dont need to be on a certain whitelist anymore.

Could you please highlight which section is "shitting on the gaming community"?

We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish.

If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites.

If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in.

Thank you

Pyrolithic:

Rocket Girl:

circularlogic88:

"Person" isn't all-inclusive today depending on which individual or group of people you wish to have define it. What's your point? Because it seems like you're being flippant for the sake of being flippant.

Could you show me which group you have seen saying person is not an inclusive term?

Well, if we're being entirely pedantic, the very existence of the term "Person of Color" (though as near as I can tell, it's fallen out of favour in the last few years) would suggest the term "Person" only applies to Caucasians.

But more on topic, I have to agree with the sentiment that this petition seems to be missing an important point, which is that the toxicity isn't exclusively found in those who play games, as we've seen with the behaviour of various game developers and journalists with regard to this entire debacle.

You bring up an example, but then refute it. Care to try again? I would very much like to see sources that show people rejecting the term person or claiming it doesn't include all humans. You made the claim after all.

"Person" isn't all-inclusive today depending on which individual or group of people you wish to have define it.

So surely you must have an example that you've seen that has brought you to this conclusion.

Pyrolithic:

Well, if we're being entirely pedantic, the very existence of the term "Person of Color" . . . would suggest the term "Person" only applies to Caucasians.

Howso?

A Person of Color must be a Person by necessity. They are not a Refrigerator of Color. They are not a Horse of Color. They are a Person of Color.

Adjectives modify nouns, they do not change the definition of nouns.

Rocket Girl:

Pyrolithic:

Rocket Girl:
Could you show me which group you have seen saying person is not an inclusive term?

Well, if we're being entirely pedantic, the very existence of the term "Person of Color" (though as near as I can tell, it's fallen out of favour in the last few years) would suggest the term "Person" only applies to Caucasians.

But more on topic, I have to agree with the sentiment that this petition seems to be missing an important point, which is that the toxicity isn't exclusively found in those who play games, as we've seen with the behaviour of various game developers and journalists with regard to this entire debacle.

You bring up an example, but then refute it. Care to try again? I would very much like to see sources that show people rejecting the term person or claiming it doesn't include all humans. You made the claim after all.

Woah there, I made no such claim, and I'd appreciate you not accuse me of as much.

I merely pointed out that by definition, the existence of the term "Person of color" necessarily implies that the one using it excludes non-whites from the term "person".

Captcha: Trust me.

Well, ideally you'd do your own research and reach your own conclusions, but I try to be pretty trustworthy, so thank you, Captcha.

erttheking:

licktheenvelope:
Ugh... i'm glad the devs are paying attention but seriously they need to get the press to call off the social extremists.

Social extremists? The statement says "Diversity is good, please report harassment when you see it, make online communities a more fun place to be." What is so extreme about that?

Note how it's not signed by Anita Sarkeesian... EDIT: Zoe Quinn on. 1 more. Hopefully that quells the extremists.

Pyrolithic:

Rocket Girl:

Pyrolithic:

Well, if we're being entirely pedantic, the very existence of the term "Person of Color" (though as near as I can tell, it's fallen out of favour in the last few years) would suggest the term "Person" only applies to Caucasians.

But more on topic, I have to agree with the sentiment that this petition seems to be missing an important point, which is that the toxicity isn't exclusively found in those who play games, as we've seen with the behaviour of various game developers and journalists with regard to this entire debacle.

You bring up an example, but then refute it. Care to try again? I would very much like to see sources that show people rejecting the term person or claiming it doesn't include all humans. You made the claim after all.

Woah there, I made no such claim, and I'd appreciate you not accuse me of as much.

I merely pointed out that by definition, the existence of the term "Person of color" necessarily implies that the one using it excludes non-whites from the term "person".

Captcha: Trust me.

Well, ideally you'd do your own research and reach your own conclusions, but I try to be pretty trustworthy, so thank you, Captcha.

You claimed, and I will quote you again:

"Person" isn't all-inclusive today depending on which individual or group of people you wish to have define it.

So could you please show me an example you have seen that demonstrates a group of people claiming the word person is not inclusive. If you have come to that conclusion (and you have, as I just quoted you saying it again) then you must have seen or head it. Please share.

licktheenvelope:

erttheking:

licktheenvelope:
Ugh... i'm glad the devs are paying attention but seriously they need to get the press to call off the social extremists.

Social extremists? The statement says "Diversity is good, please report harassment when you see it, make online communities a more fun place to be." What is so extreme about that?

Note how it's not signed by Anita Sarkeesian... EDIT: Zoe Quinn on. 1 more. Hopefully that quells the extremists.

What does that have to do with anything? Why does everything about everything in gaming have to come back to those two nowadays?

Rocket Girl:

licktheenvelope:
Ugh... i'm glad the devs are paying attention but seriously they need to get the press to call off the social extremists.

Which press members? Which social extremists? Why do you want "game developers" to tell "press" to "call off" extremism? Do you think the developers have some sort of power over the press? Or the press over the public? Is there some sort of agreement made between people you deem extreme and "press" to... be extreme?

Your statement perplexes me.

Also (to answer the questions): Any of the bigger ones with links to Anita Sarkeesian / Particularly the ones attacking female gamers for speaking up against the press (likely radical feminists) / Because the press isn't doing it's job and we've been screaming at them for 2 weeks... / Of course the developers have power over the press to handle their messages / of course the press has power over the public

licktheenvelope:

erttheking:

licktheenvelope:
Ugh... i'm glad the devs are paying attention but seriously they need to get the press to call off the social extremists.

Social extremists? The statement says "Diversity is good, please report harassment when you see it, make online communities a more fun place to be." What is so extreme about that?

Note how it's not signed by Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarkeesian...

Quinn did sign it actually along with Adam Orth. Ironically an individual from mainstream gaming that lost his job after being downright imbecilic to the gaming population at large.

erttheking:

licktheenvelope:

erttheking:

Social extremists? The statement says "Diversity is good, please report harassment when you see it, make online communities a more fun place to be." What is so extreme about that?

Note how it's not signed by Anita Sarkeesian... EDIT: Zoe Quinn on. 1 more. Hopefully that quells the extremists.

What does that have to do with anything? Why does everything about everything in gaming have to come back to those two nowadays?

There's no short answer to that. See the thread: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.858347-Zoe-Quinn-and-the-surrounding-controversy?page=447

There's a number of issues of nepotism and corruption involving both Ms Sarkeesian and Ms Quinn and a certain PR agency.

Akexi:

licktheenvelope:

erttheking:

Social extremists? The statement says "Diversity is good, please report harassment when you see it, make online communities a more fun place to be." What is so extreme about that?

Note how it's not signed by Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarkeesian...

Quinn did sign it actually along with Adam Orth. Ironically an individual from mainstream gaming that lost his job after being downright imbecilic to the gaming population at large.

Yes I edit that, Quinn had noted signed as of a couple hours ago.

licktheenvelope:

erttheking:

licktheenvelope:

Note how it's not signed by Anita Sarkeesian... EDIT: Zoe Quinn on. 1 more. Hopefully that quells the extremists.

What does that have to do with anything? Why does everything about everything in gaming have to come back to those two nowadays?

There's no short answer to that. See the thread: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.858347-Zoe-Quinn-and-the-surrounding-controversy?page=447

There's a number of issues of nepotism and corruption involving both Ms Sarkeesian and Ms Quinn and a certain PR agency.

Yeah, that's not happening. I'm not crawling through 400 pages of barely contained rage, uncertain accusations and out of control emotions. It'd be like walking into the middle of a riot and trying to get an unbiased view on what was going on.

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