Blizzard President Denounces Hate And Harassment In Gaming Industry

Mike Morhaime says a small group has been "making some people's lives miserable, and they are tarnishing our reputation as gamers. It's not right."

153 Comments
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Before diving into announcing new games and updates today at Blizzcon, Blizzard president, chief executive officer, and co-founder Mike Morhaime denounced the recent spate of hate and harassment in the video game industry.

"Over the past couple of months, there's been a small group of people who have been doing really awful things," Morhaime told the assembled group during the opening ceremony. "They have been making some people's lives miserable, and they are tarnishing our reputation as gamers. It's not right."

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Over the past few months, the gaming community has found itself making mainstream headlines over harassment and terror campaigns oftentimes linked--accurately or not--to the "Gamergate" movement. Morhaime did not mention this campaign by name during his speech today at Blizzcon.

He went on to say that an event like Blizzcon can be a "great example of how positive and uplifting gaming" and its community can be. He said he hopes the positive energy from this weekend at Blizzcon can carry forward and reach gamers around the world.

"Let's carry the good vibes from this weekend out into the world all year round," he said. "There is another person on the other end of the chat screen. They're our friends. Our brothers and sisters. Our sons and daughters. Let's take a stand to reject hate and harassment. And let's redouble our efforts to be kind and respectful for one another, and let's remind the world what the game community is really all about."

Blizzcon began today and runs through Saturday, November 8, when Metallica will close out the show with a concert. The biggest announcement so far was Blizzard's reveal of a new team-based shooter called Overwatch. You can read lots more about that game here. GameSpot has editors on the ground at the Anaheim Convention Center reporting from the show all weekend long. Check back soon for more.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Sajius

I remember when online "harassment" and "bullying" simply used to be called trolling. And I also remember when the previous generation actually had a backbone and didn't need to be self victimized with CEO's giving speeches about it. Seems like the problem is with the softening of society, not any of this other crap. There is always going to be idiots, jerks, and mean people. Telling those people to stop being idiots, jerks, and mean does nothing. Grow a backbone. Stop victimizing yourself just so you can fit into some controversial labeled victim group. If you can't handle real life then get off the medium that presents it to you. Nothing has changed, people have just gotten softer.

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isv666

I thought his speech was short and to the point and I appreciate that he didn't specify a particular group or side, even though it may be inferred. There's no reason for anyone to be harassing anyone in the gaming community, or any community for that matter. There are personalities in the gaming industry (or outside of it) that I dislike, but I would never insult them or harass them. That's childish and doesn't achieve anything and ends up making our community look bad. And often makes them look good or prove their points.

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IPIay

He's probably talking about both the crazy feminists looking for attention, and the retarded Gamer Gate people also looking for attention. I don't understand what drives people to be that desperate to be in the spot light that they're willing to destroy a beautiful thing like video games and turn it into a war zone of never ending retardation. If feminists wanted to actually do something then go help real women and not pixel ones. And Gamer Gate would disband shortly after.

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imaginemonkey

@ipiay By helping pixel women, feminists are helping real women. Gaming, like movies, books, etc., is an entertainment medium and an art form. People can learn from the entertainment they consume, and if what they're always being shown is that women can be objectified, that they should always have large breasts and be scantily clad, and that they always need a man to rescue them because they are incapable of rescuing themselves, they are going to learn that women are weak and are objects for pleasure. Feminists are doing everything in their power to create an equal playing field for all humans, male and female, on all fronts, whether it is political, economical, artistic, etc.


In the end, it doesn't matter what my view or your view is on feminism. Our industry is growing exponentially in terms of artistic vision. Games are getting better with each passing year because developers, both big and small, are creating better stories with more interesting characters that we can relate to. People speaking out about making more interesting female characters are only a part of that solution. I truly don't see the problem with that.

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IPIay

<< LINK REMOVED >> And entertainment, books, and movies used to and still show smoking to be cool and we all know that is bad. Just because things are objectified in movies doesn't mean people will actually act on this. And helping women in a educated 1st world countries isn't doing anything it's like giving a homeless alcoholic man money it's counter productive. If feminists want to do anything of worth they should be advocated womens rights in the middle east and in Africa or other 3rd world countries where women actually need it. And I could list you hundreds of games/animes/movies where women kick ass.

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imaginemonkey

<< LINK REMOVED >> "And helping women in a educated 1st world countries isn't doing anything it's like giving a homeless alcoholic man money it's counter productive."


You can't be serious. That's one of the least intelligent, misogynistic statements I have ever read.Please think about what you're saying. You follow up this bold, false statement with, "If feminists want to do anything of worth..." So, you're saying that building an America where women are paid the same as their male counterparts (if you've ever heard of the gender pay gap, you'd know they are not, and here's one of many articles to prove it: << LINK REMOVED >>), an America where women are treated as equals to men (which they're not, and there's plenty of sources to prove this, but here's a familiar one: << LINK REMOVED >>), and an America where women are as numerous as men in leadership and management positions (which they're not: << LINK REMOVED >>) is not worth it? You need to look at yourself in the mirror and reevaluate yourself. The reason why you're hearing a lot about feminists in the news recently is because women are fighting for equal rights and equal representation; in other words, they don't have either of those right now.


Of course all forms of media still show smoking, drinking, violence, etc. I don't know why entertainment includes "bad things." It could be for many different reasons that differ from person to person. That's a philosophy topic that I'm not going to get into. The point is, entertainment is a play on life. Sexual harassment and assault exist in media because they happen in real life. So, no, just because a movie shows a man or woman getting objectified, doesn't mean I'm going to objectify someone else. It does mean that it does happen (again, because media is a play on life). We need to respect each other as human beings and move past the caveman belief of misogyny. Don't be naive enough to believe that women are equal to men in first world countries because they are not, yet. Third world countries are a whole other matter because it's obvious what the problems are there.

Avatar image for ipiay
IPIay

<< LINK REMOVED >> that link you posted for Forbes addresses only S&P companies which are extremely low. Even your research is very bias to feminist goals. Here is a link that shows the workforce for both men and women << LINK REMOVED >> This shows that men and women share nearly a 50% ratio workforce along with women having a lower unemployment ratio. Now I'm not completely ignorant to the fact that something will never change like sexual harassment or sexual bias but that's never gonna change just for the plain reason that humans are stupid and we don't live in a utopia. Sorry to have to expose you to the truth when you were probably home schooled by a misandrist mother and only talk to misandrist friends.

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imaginemonkey

<< LINK REMOVED >> Kid, I feel sorry for you. You've successfully disgusted me with your childish insults. You obviously don't know how to handle an adult debate. I hope you go to college someday and look back to how ignorant you're being.

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IPIay

<< LINK REMOVED >> lol calling someone kid again relying on insults instead of backing your argument up with facts like I did It's alright maybe one day the brain washing will wear off and you'll open your eyes to the truth and finally be free of the horrible process your mom did to you.

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IPIay

<< LINK REMOVED >> lol thought so. I proved you wrong with 100% concrete evidence and all you can say is you're digested. Really hope home schooling is banned because in cases like yours it did more harm then good.

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IPIay

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Don't rely on insults it makes you look small brained. I understand that doing even the smallest amount of research is hard and you need to listen to all your friends talking about things they don't understand. Also your post was tl;dr

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imaginemonkey

<< LINK REMOVED >> It's a good thing I didn't rely on insults to make my argument, hunh? If you read what I wrote, you'd notice that very simple fact. Oh wait..."tl;dr"...you didn't! What a great way to make yourself seem intelligent. It amazes me how much you overlook things. The ironic thing is, you actually relied on insults to make your argument.


You could also do a better job at intelligently insulting people. Small-brained? Really? A dictionary and thesaurus might do you some good. There's nothing to your poor excuse of a rebuttal but three unreferenced sources and some insults. Great job. All I need to do is point you to your comments to show you "small-brained."


But wait, there's more! Apparently I only rely on what my friends tell me for research because research is too hard. What was that? "Tl;dr?" That sounds like lazy "research" to me! Is that more irony I smell? Don't you just love irony?

Avatar image for SpLiTMaN
SpLiTMaN

how bout parents do there jobs and teach there kids respect and decency????....If you really want to stop this trend all you need to do is force people to game with there REAL NAMES and there problem solved..the b*tchers and haters are to much of wimps to take responsibility for there action and too afraid to have people actually associate them with there "a**holeness" thats my take on it any how..

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xADx

<< LINK REMOVED >> Nope! Never going to happened. DO you want to be the first Gaming company that will publish children's names for everyone to see? Even Mike had to take 20 minutes out of his Honeymoon to post a forum post of Blizzard dropping the policy of Real ID on Blizzard forums.

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IPIay

<< LINK REMOVED >> Youtube already tried that and failed big time.

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DarthLod

All one has to do is look at Gen Chat in any MMO to see what is tarnishing gaming. Look in comments on gaming sites (such as this) as well. People act like flat out rude trolling elitist scumbags, and no one does a THING about it. You want to take a stand? Start deleting comments, accounts, and giving people CONSEQUENCES for what they say on games and on websites. That is the REAL PROBLEM is that these people get no consequences and set behind their keyboards spouting off whatever they want knowing nothing will happen to them. Start having admins who set and delete that stuff and remove accounts from people who act that way, and that includes having staff members set in Gen Chat in MMO's and admin chat that as well. Giving warning and deleting accounts. Then people may just shape up a bit and quit making gaming a reminder of why breeding may not be such a good idea. My enjoyment in gaming has fallen way off because of this stuff in the past few years. It needs to stop.

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Ultramarinus

As expected from Blizzard, riding the high waves of press horse excrete and taking anti-GG stance without giving names. Some people even actually made believe that he's pro-GG.

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judaspete

Wow. Someone in the game industry just wanted to take a minute to show that the gaming community can be a welcoming and level headed group, and then we go put words in their mouth and berate them in the forums. Good work internet. Good work.

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Dieknochenblume

Great to see industry heads taking a stance. Harassment is a no-go, and should be explicitly targeted by both industry policies and statements.

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imaginemonkey

<< LINK REMOVED >> I wish we had more people with your mindset.

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musalala

LOL of all the things Gamespot could have focused about blizzzcon on they focus on this and then try and twist it into condeming Gamergate? I'm surprised they didn't try to shoe horn in Anita Saarkesian

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Elemental_Jack

<< LINK REMOVED >> They didn't "focus". Its one article. Sit down kid. "LOL"

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SaturatedButter

the only ones tarnishing the reputation of gamers are the anti-gamergate people with their "gamers are dead" garbage that stereotype all of us.

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Elemental_Jack

<< LINK REMOVED >> Gamers are dead. Sorry but the medium has changed. Get used to it.

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Kunakai

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> The medium has indeed changed but to imply it has changed to such an extent that it turned and killed off its audience is utter nonsense.

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KealGSeo

I love when people basically say they are intolerant of intolerant people.

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gamerboy100

Hey GameSpot, when are you going to report on how the Gamergate controversy was linked to 4chan?


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Martyr77

So basically Blizzard is trying to tell us what to think and hate mongering? Got it.

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Kunakai

<< LINK REMOVED >> How is stating that hate and harassment are detrimental to the image of the audience "hate mongering"?

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surrealme

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yeah, because telling people not to be giant d-bags is so radical. If you feel put upon or singled out by that you just might be part of the problem. Jesus when did gamers become so completely pathetic?

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HumdingerMarkie

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Bout the time Reddit became popular, odd enough.

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HumdingerMarkie

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Basically calling out ignorant gross people like yourself who make it there job to harass people and give gamers a bad name. While jerking them around and confusing the situation so they, think at least, they come out looking clean.

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Martyr77

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> What are you talking about? Harass who? I don't know you personally nor was I even talking to you and you insult me?

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HumdingerMarkie

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I've seen you and a ton of people just like you who make it there job to harass people on this very sight. And of course you're the people to try and denounce the problem.

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Sajius

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> "I've seen you and a ton of people just like you" LOL yet you are the only one on here harassing anybody dude. Take a look in the mirror. The double standard you are producing here is exactly what we are talking about. You are the only one harassing people in this comment thread. You should be more 'tolerant'.

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Thanatos2k

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> People who call other gamers "Ignorant gross people" are the ones who give gamers a bad name.

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HumdingerMarkie

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The point is this entire industry has these rashes of rude unaccepting people, that apparently think they're just being funny, while being horribly rude. They've gone so long thinking that their actions are OK that they've turned it up to 1000 and are doing real world disgusting sh*t like threatening to kill people, bomb threats, extremely harassing people. It's a horrible place for our industry to be. There is no joke here, they've quite screwed up big time and now or soon, we're going to start seeing what will happen to them. If little kids can go to jail for telling crappy little jokes on myspace to kind of mess with someone, I'm seeing these ass hats verbally harassing and threatening people getting prison sentences. No exaggeration necessary.

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HumdingerMarkie

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Yeah it could be read pretty harsh and I feel bad about that, but it strongly get's my point across. It's not just humble bumble I'm going to say something to jokingly mess with this guy, it's I'm going to attack this person right here, and I'm going to try and gather as many people as I can to attack this person with me, bad intent harassment. There's a very thick line, and I have trouble believing people can't see it. Maybe they just need to work on their senses of humor, tell jokes that are solid, as in can't be interpreted as straight attacking another person.

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sampson3121

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> you just called him ignorant and gross...isn't that harassment in it's own right?

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HumdingerMarkie

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Yeah that circular logic bullcrap is a huge part of the problem too. "Jerking people around and confusing the situation so they, think at least, they come out looking clean" innit?

Funny how I write a post about ignorant people and they just pile up.

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sampson3121

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> the only ignorant person here seems to be you.

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HumdingerMarkie

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I worded my sentiment harshly, it's not harassment to paint a vivid picture of how rude someone has been though.

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Sl4cka

<< LINK REMOVED >> Not if he knows it to be fact. They probably slept together, hence the knowledge.