End the Hate, says Industry in Open Letter to Fans

Developers from Rockstar to Naughty Dog sign petition seeking to promote diversity and tolerance.

Hundreds of developers spanning the US and Europe have endorsed an open letter asking the games community to curb hate-speech and online abuse across social media sites like Twitter and Reddit.

The letter, written by the independent games designer Andreas Zecher, has been signed by hundreds of developers, AAA studios, and indies, including Rockstar North, Naughty Dog, Bungie, 343 Industries, Blizzard Entertainment, and Epic Games.

Support for Zecher's letter comes in the wake of a spate of personal attacks on games industry figures across social media. For instance, last week the games essayist Anita Sarkeesian was forced to vacate her home after receiving increasingly severe anonymous threats on Twitter.

Those who have backed the letter have done so independently, and not necessarily as representatives for the companies they work for.

“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,” reads Zecher's letter.

“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.”

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crossleyrob

Rob Crossley

Rob Crossley is GameSpot's UK Editor. He is being forced to use Oxford commas.
732 comments
slappy54
slappy54

Wow, what a brave move, denouncing hate in the wake of gamergate. These devs had about 15 years to come to this conclusion, but they wait till now for some nifty PR. Pathetic.

coreycole792
coreycole792

@slappy54 Such a  ridiculous comment. Most of us have been fighting the hate in gaming for years or decades. Just because you are just now reading about it because GameSpot covered Andreas Zecher's letter does not mean that any signatory (including me) is doing it for publicity. I signed because I have always taken a stand against hate towards women and minorities, and the letter was a convenient way to make that stand more public.

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

"Hundreds of developers spanning the US and Europe have endorsed an open letter asking the games community to curb hate-speech and online abuse across social media sites like Twitter and Reddit."


Ha, as if gamers are the only guilty party! They are just as guilty of this kind of crap as the gamers who took part in this whole thing! Anyone else remember the Mass Effect 3 incident last year? Remember all of the s*** that game devs and journalists were saying about us!? I sure as hell do!

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

Oh, and by the way, the hateful gamers are a minority. Most of us aren't like that, so stop lumping us all into one group!

SpiritSephiroth
SpiritSephiroth

Nope, Im not ending any hate until they lay off with their s***. Especially with the whole Zoe Qiunn thing now.

Eeshaan1685
Eeshaan1685

This woman's videos are painful to watch. The ignorance and sheer stupidity she shows are ridiculous to the point of being funny. A con-artist and a liar. 


Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. And This girl is a sure winner of the Darwin Award.


Extreme liberals trying to take away freedom of speech. So what's new ?

tom_cat_01
tom_cat_01

@Eeshaan1685 I don't remember her (or any "liberal" part of this debate) calling for censorship or to take away people's freedom of speech...

tom_cat_01
tom_cat_01

@Eeshaan1685 @tom_cat_01 I have. If you could point me to a time stamp at which she calls for censorship, or for a certain type of thing to stop being made, then I'd be grateful. 

ifandonlyiff
ifandonlyiff

@amillionhp @tom_cat_01 This is really going to piss people off but I have to say it: Women are the original psychologists. If this woman says, "You like women with big breasts," she notes it not because it is good or bad ethically, but because breasts work to draw your attention. Once the female is absolutely sure it draws the male's attention sexually, and the other females' attention as a modifier of behavior (i.e. subject control), then once she is sure of her facts there is a massive upswing in the number of breast implants among the upper wealthiest 1% of the world's women.  Just like the bra, the breast implant was a design request from the women themselves. And like all dictators, they want not only to control you, they want you to feel guilty for it. And so now, you are not only expected to have your behavior modified by a topological shape, but to feel guilty about how you examine your own perception on how you respond in various situations to that shape. 

And yet, computer simulation (and not merely as a masturbatory assistant) is the nearest current technology to dreams.  Dreams are amoral and allow the sleeping consciousness to examine life strategies that are often never used or even consciously perceived to decrease stress.  So computer games are popular with those same people who enjoy dreaming.  We have nightmare horror scenarios and we have utopias with happy perfect colors and perfect people just like out of a teli-tubbies episode. And yet simulations of dystopias abound in greater numbers than ever before.

Just because there are zombies, doesn't mean we like zombies. It may mean subconsciously we seek to find a way to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. There may be many non-natural, atypical Barbie-shaped beings in string bikinis playing volleyball because it is specifically non-violent and pleasurable. The voice actors were paid and no one was hurt. Who is this documentarian who seeks to legislate the imagination and the products of the imagination? I think the backlash is that even if people can't really easily put their abhorrence into words, they realize that this woman is seeking to legislate what we can and cannot even think about at the deepest levels. In her opinion, straight males are no longer allowed to have the same sexual freedoms as the weirdest deviants, and are not allowed to express their IDEAS in art (specific to this point is the tacit rhetorical assumption that because large breasted women exist in games, then they exist ONLY as sexual objects or objects of authority. It seems this woman is trying to prevent us from the freedom to examine every possibility for ourselves). Like a mother, she will tell us what is proper for us to think about; even if the art is ethical and commercially profitable, even if the developers and other talent include women, and most especially if this is what the women themselves want to see.  But what we really know is that this woman is pissed off we are watching the video game art, and not her. 

toddx77
toddx77

@ifandonlyiff Very well said.  Pretty soon women like her are going to demand that all games go through a panel of women to make sure there is nothing "offensive" in them.

amillionhp
amillionhp

@tom_cat_01 

Its implied. There is nothing more annoying than people hiding behind technicalities and exact wording to sidestep otherwise obvious points. There is actually already plenty of diversity with characters in videogames at the moment. Therefore, someone "critiquing" them on the basis of sexist overtones, of which as many here have pointed out being out of context, exaggerated, downright false, blatant hypocrisy and so forth which was all very true as i've watched her videos myself...

yeah, that is why many just consider it censorship. 

Glongold
Glongold

@amillionhp @tom_cat_01 this -> There is nothing more annoying than people hiding behind technicalities and exact wording to sidestep otherwise obvious points.

zintarr
zintarr

I will not support someones self created problem.

She knew what buttons she was pushing and she knew what could happen.


Also the "letter" is not being backed by the actual companies because they understand that this is a non-issue. Move along.

codeman101360
codeman101360

Men get harassed all the time on the internet and nobody cares. A feminist gets "death threats" and everyone loses their minds.

toddx77
toddx77

@ifandonlyiff I stopped the video at 5 seconds when the guy said "grab a "woman" have a good time". That was common in real life so how is that even offensive?  I Hate it when people like her complain about logic and things being  "unrealistic" in a game like Dragon Age with Elves, Dragons, and magic.

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

@aiat_gamer  I would sign that, but anyone who criticizes the way Anita does is going to get inflammatory responses.  If she has the "right" to lie, angry gamers have the right to take it out on her Twitter account.

heydra
heydra

These feminist people should then go and attack movies, books, music, what not else. and finally get a sense of humour.

aiat_gamer
aiat_gamer

Where is the call to end hate speech when someone like Brendon Keogth, A writer for Polygon, said a gamer is a "S*** person who cares way too much about video games"? When John Walker, the editor of rock paper shotgun told yours truly to "piss off" when I asked why they are banning people from the site who were mentioning Quinn?!

These guy are becoming too sure of themselves, they are becoming more and more famous each day and the fame is going through to their thinking somehow they better than the rest...that is a dangerous place to be and they are getting upset about the backlash.

zhopokun
zhopokun

@Shadowdanc3r @aiat_gamer He insults gamers on a daily basis. Just go to his twitter. Here's one of his tweets. "“My life is really pathetic and nobody loves me” - all the spammy gamer twitter account bios averaged together". See, this is an industry were it's okay for the press to insult the customers. They don't get fired, nothing happens to them.

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

@aiat_gamer  If you have something showing he said that, go public with it.  Share with someone on YouTube or at the Patreon link I posted a few comments down.

tom_cat_01
tom_cat_01

@Shadowdanc3r I'd much rather be on the team with sarkeesian and mattie brice and neil druckmann and leigh alexander than those guys. I mean... just look at them! *shudder*

aiat_gamer
aiat_gamer

@Shadowdanc3r Yeah I am not too sure about them, I would much rather have someone do regular youtube videos than do a full documentary. 

heydra
heydra

@Shadowdanc3r If they want to do what they saying. Then they should do it in movies and books too. It's writing. It's fiction. And finally to feminists: get a bloody sense of humour... 

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

@heydra @Shadowdanc3r  I think they will cover movies and books.  If not, you could suggest it, but I think you'd have to contribute at least $1.

tom_cat_01
tom_cat_01

@Shadowdanc3r @tom_cat_01 Lol wut? No, that's not what I think. I was obviously being playful. I support the people I mentioned because they're compassionate human beings, and I don't like Davis and Jordan-what's-his-face because they're defaming, hate-filled, neo-liberal, bullying conservatives. 

tom_cat_01
tom_cat_01

@Shadowdanc3r @tom_cat_01 Ummm....  By calling for gaming narratives to reflect greater social diversity (you know, like we have in the real world), and by understanding that everyone wants to play the very narrow range of protagonist types mostly offered by the majority of games, by calling out developers on their sometimes sexist BS, and doing all of this inside the mature critical position that, as she states at the start of EVERY video.. you CAN enjoy games, while still calling out their less appealing (i.e. sexist) aspects.  

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

@tom_cat_01 @Shadowdanc3r And she does all that while telling lies and taking things out of context and doxing?  Not everyone cares about narrative, but gameplay. You know what else we have in the real world?  Different body types.  We have thin women with natural breasts that go down to down to their belly button, but if that were ever rendered in a video game she'd probably cry sexism or misogyny.


She only looks at things from one warped side.  Did she ever make a video about the misandry found in Outlast and its DLC?

uninspiredcup
uninspiredcup

Zoe Quinn was called out not  because she was a woman but because she was apparently sleeping with people who had been reporting on her. A conflict of interest.

People are going out to make out "oh it's the woman hating manboys". No, thats you, trying to spin it with a one sided argument. 



Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

Whatever games Andreas Zecher works on, make sure not to buy them.

deathknight107
deathknight107

We can do our best to end the harassment, the blind hatred and death threats. However, this is humanity here and humanity itself is naturally stupid. it will do what it wants to defy the normal no matter is said and done. Sad, but it is very true

dani3po
dani3po

@Shadowdanc3r @deathknight107 She is not lying, she is expressing an opinion. And yes, she would. People with feminist ideas have been systematically persecuted and attacked in the gaming industry. People who is behind this hate campaign are not 'vigilantes' but bullies who do not support freedom of opinion.

freedom01
freedom01 moderator moderator

@dani3po @Shadowdanc3r @deathknight107 I do not support the hate speeches and all, but she was lying. She constantly says on media that she is a gamer and loves gaming, but there was a video released that was taken in one of her seminars in a university where she blatantly says that she doesnt enjoy gaming and that she only played games because her damsel and tropes where surrounding about video games.

That is just one of her lies. I saw a couple of others in her vids

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

@deathknight107 @Shadowdanc3r @dani3po  Ok, fine.  But you couldn't expect me to think you were talking about any of those people when their names or faces don't appear in this article.  I should flag your post as "Off Topic."  :p

deathknight107
deathknight107

@Shadowdanc3r @dani3po @deathknight107  I'm not talking about Anita here now.  Look at the attacks on the writer form Bioware and Phil fish. the death threats on the COD patch. The blind stupidity from the new DMC game and Mass effect 3 endings. There is a lot of mass hate tied in with stupidity.  It just doesn't follow one person, it tends to follow a herd of them

dani3po
dani3po

@aiat_gamer @dani3po Yes, I agree with her in some things and disagree in others (or rather I think they are taken out of context).  But this is a common practice among those who make documentaries; they carefully choose the material and edited to serve theur purpose. James O'Keefe and Michael Moore  also been accused of this.

dani3po
dani3po

@freedom01 Obviously lying is not right, but I think many people do not understand that the fact that he is or not a lifelong gamer is not important.  people who make documentaries don´t need not have experienced first hand what they are studying. The other day I saw a great documentary about the favelas of Brazil. The person who did not live there, it was just there, talked to people and observed the situation to make the documentary. 

dani3po
dani3po

@aiat_gamer @dani3po Documentary: "A film or television or radio programme that provides a factual report on a particular subject." Yes, they are documentaries, like it or not. And I am explaining why the issue of her being a gamer or not is not important. 

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@Shadowdanc3r @deathknight107 pretty much. She got called out on her lies and now everyone is flipping out. But its working because no one is mentioning the Zoe Quinn corruption thing anymore. 

ifandonlyiff
ifandonlyiff

@deathknight107 @Shadowdanc3r @dani3po I really don't know how the Mass Effect franchise can be used as an example of misogynistic or derogatory game play narrative: the player character is not forced to be male, he or she is not forced to be straight, and the player is not forced to be involved in a romantic entanglement to complete the game.  Therefore, any and all romantic options from any gender or sexuality in Mass Effect are already built-in to the system, which is the exact opposite of denying someone's capability of romantic or sexual expression. At no point is one option given priority over another. At no time does Mass Effect say it is better to be a straight male rather than a lesbian female or a straight female.  Finally, Mass Effect asks the very hard ethical questions involved in whether self-defense gives a sentient being the natural right to destroy the genome of another sentient species such that they go extinct. The question of "What should be limitations of violence in war", even "non-obvious sublimated violence on the genome" is a very real world dilemma  This is a very real context within the game world. Perhaps the documentarian critic would not be as easily dismissed if these larger ethical contexts were also noted before the tongue lashings begin. 

aiat_gamer
aiat_gamer

@dani3po Apart from her taking things out of context, she basically makes things up and outright lies, you don`t have any problem with that?

Also, I don`t get what that has got to do with documentaries, she is not making a documentary, even if she is the fact that someone like Michael Moore does this, does not excuse anyone else doing it this way. 

freedom01
freedom01 moderator moderator

Of course it's not about beeing a life time gamer, the important part is the fact that she lied and constantly lies in her "documentary"

aiat_gamer
aiat_gamer

@dani3po Now you are taking everything out of context and cherry picking whatever you want, nice job! also, stop calling her videos documentary.