An important message to our users regarding online harassment

Harassment and abuse in games culture. We won't stand for it.

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In recent weeks, an increasingly fervent debate has raged online about video games. Some of this debate has focused on ethics in game journalism, but some of it has consisted of vicious and abhorrent attacks on individuals and groups within gaming, particularly on those calling for a more open and inclusive games industry. The GameSpot team is made up of a diverse group of passionate gamers who care deeply about the future of this medium. We have had many discussions internally over the last week about what should be said on behalf of the site staff regarding the recent events in the industry, and we felt it was important to release a short statement to make it very clear where we stand.

Over its 18 years of existence, GameSpot has often commented on the cultural impact of gaming as the medium rapidly rose in popularity and significance. At the same time, GameSpot has always remained focused on one key thing: video games. We want this site to be a celebration of the medium, a great place to discover and discuss video games, and an inclusive place where any game fan should be able to share his or her voice. Although we consider any debate dealing with game journalism ethics to be vitally important, we do not condone any actions that are meant to harass, bully, or intimidate others. We also refuse to give oxygen to a disturbing minority who seek to use this debate as an excuse for their own appalling actions.

We believe that gaming has a bright, inclusive future ahead of it, and the industry is strong and diverse enough to accommodate games and gamers of all types. However, the medium that all of us care for so much will only grow as long as we continue to treat people who make, play, and talk about video games with respect. Our own belief is that actions speak louder than words. We choose to lead by example — through the content we create, the staff we hire and the way we conduct ourselves — and to not feed the grotesque and appalling behaviour of some individuals. We are not planning further comment on this, but note that we will continue to reinforce our site’s zero tolerance policy for anything constituting harassment of our users, our staff, or indeed, anyone else, for doing nothing more than sharing an opinion or being different.

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