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Gaming is the least welcoming online venue for women

But Pew survey points to social media as the most common venue for online harassment

A new survey has found online gaming to be the least welcoming internet environment for women.

In a survey of nearly 3,000 internet users, conducted by Pew Research, only 3 per cent of respondents felt that online gaming was more welcoming toward women, versus 44 per cent who felt it was more welcoming toward men.

Compared to the other online environments considered, Pew observed that online gaming returned the "starkest results," in both the gulf between which gender was most welcomed in that context, and the number of respondents who felt it was equally welcoming to both genders.

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In terms of the bigger picture, the survey found that 40 per cent of all internet users have experienced one of six forms of "harassment." In terms of frequency, from highest to lowest, those forms break down like this: offensive name-calling, purposeful embarrassment, physical threats, sustained harassment, stalking, and sexual harassment.

Men were more likely to suffer the more frequent, and less severe, forms of harassment, but stalking and sexual harassment were most often experienced by women.

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That trend was more noticeable when applied to younger people, a greater proportion of whom have been the target of some form of harassment: 70 per cent of respondents aged between 18 and 24, versus 40 per cent across all age groups.

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However, online gaming wasn't the most frequent venue of harassment. That dubious honour belonged to social media, which is perhaps unsurprising given how pervasive sites like Twitter and Facebook are relative to the size of gaming communities.

Around 72 per cent of respondents under the age of 50 said that their most recent experience of harassment occurred on social media, and 66 per cent across all age groups. Only 16 per cent named online gaming as the venue, and one comment from a respondent made a telling distinction between the two environments.

"The good thing is, on the computer, you can just leave!"

The data was taken from nearly 2,849 internet users over the course of one month between May 30 and June 30 this year. The full report is available online, and it's well worth your time.

Latest comments (51)

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development2 years ago
Three women reported more sexually flavoured harrasment than men, both numbers falling well inside a reasonable standard deviation given the survey size. And in almost all other categories men get the harder time of it.

Am I missing something?
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Matthew Handrahan European Deputy Editor, GamesIndustry.biz2 years ago
Just to clarify, the figures are percentages rather than individual people.
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Anthony Gowland Consulting F2P Game Designer, Ant Workshop2 years ago
Would be interesting to see that first graph split according to the respondant's sex.
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Show all comments (51)
Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games2 years ago
offensive name-calling, purposeful embarrassment, physical threats, sustained harassment
This is how guys who are friends treat each other, and some girls too. I think a lot of this current criticism that "gaming has a hostile environment" comes from the fact that video games became mainstream a few years ago, and a lot of people poured into a smaller community that was pretty friendly with each other, who therefore name-called, embarrassed and threatened all the time without giving a single care or thought about it, because that's how friends behave.

I don't care that if I join a server someone makes fun of me somehow, and I certainly wouldn't like if policies of "niceness" were being enforced from the top by gaming companies or even Laws. I saw on the news that In Britain they want to make 'internet trolling' more severe when it comes to the law, and I'm afraid that might lead us to a world where offending someone on the internet becomes a crime. It's a dark future if that ever happens, and we seem to be on the way to that.

Edit: It's way past time for the internet to have a Bill of fundamental rights

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Robert Mac-Donald on 23rd October 2014 3:35pm

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because that's how friends behave
Man, if your friends are sending you explicit death and rape threats I think you might need some better friends.
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Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games2 years ago
That's why I left sexual harassment and stalking out of the list I described Jessica.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 2 years ago
@ Robert

An alternate perspective on what you wrote would be that some gamers have always felt that abuse (or what would be abuse irl) was okay, because of a lack of empathy with strangers. They pass-it-off as "joshing about" because on the internet gamers are the stereotypical High School Jocks. Add-in the mainstream players who don't find it fun to be abused, and you have a group who are abusive (to varying degrees) and also defensive/hostile about being called on it.

(Note: Generalising here. I've been admin on a couple of servers and seen good guys and bad guys).
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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz2 years ago
@ Robert, that's how friends behave? Really? Maybe when they're teenagers. I'm in my mid 30s, seems pretty immature to me to be slinging insults constantly at people...
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Matthew Handrahan European Deputy Editor, GamesIndustry.biz2 years ago
For those who feel something is missing, you're right. I call it "the full report" and I was sure to include a link to it at the end of the article. It's quite long, but well worth it. I think I said that, too, actually. :)

In any case, here's the link again:

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/10/22/online-harassment/

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Matthew Handrahan on 23rd October 2014 4:40pm

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Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games2 years ago
Robert, that's how friends behave? Really? Maybe when they're teenagers. I'm in my mid 30s, seems pretty immature to me to be slinging insults constantly at people...
How is what you just did not teasing me for my behavior, or not an insult for calling me immature? Should I feel insulted over it and say that gamesindustry.biz is a hostile environment? I could very well do that, because I was offended by it. This is part of my point here: what we perceive as an insult is of no importance, because ultimately you should not be able to force others to only say the things you want to hear. If someone is offending you over the internet, step away or ignore the person. By trying to actually force the other person to act differently, you are becoming the bully.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 2 years ago
Social conventions aren't bullying. Expecting other people to say "please", "thank you" and generally be polite is not bullying.

In addition, why should someone else's obnoxious behaviour force me to "step away"? "Ignore the person"? On Twitter you can block, I suppose, but what about online gaming? Ignoring the chat-box is hard-enough, but what if you're on a team with someone being nasty?

But all that is besides the point, which is that why should I change my behaviour or actions due to other people using freedom of speech/action as an excuse to be a dick?

Related: You should read Felicia Day's piece about GG.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 23rd October 2014 5:17pm

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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz2 years ago
You have an opinion, I have an opinion. It's a discussion. If you're offended by my questioning insults as a form of behavior, then you really have thin skin. In my view, it's immature. And I certainly wouldn't want to see that kind of behavior here (see here: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-10-20-our-house-rules)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Brightman on 23rd October 2014 5:21pm

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Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games2 years ago
Social conventions aren't bullying
Say that to the kid that was beat up at school for doing anything differently.
but what if you're on a team with someone being nasty?
Because you perceive that person as being nasty, that's your own personal opinion of it. Who made you right? Social convention? Then that's what I mean that you have become the bully. Few years ago social convention wouldn't let gay people kiss on the streets.
Why should I change my behaviour or actions due to other people using freedom of speech/action as an excuse to be a dick?
None of you should change your behavior. If you can't deal with what someone is saying, in my opinion you are the one who needs to do growing up
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Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games2 years ago
If you're offended by my questioning insults as a form of behavior, then you really have thin skin.
And that's is my opinion on how I view people who complain about rudeness in online games. People being offended at something doesn't mean they become right and get to change what other people say.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development2 years ago
Robert, just to be clear.

*) If I do something stupid in a game and you call me a dickhead, that's fine. Bravado. Part of the game.
*) If I headshot your guy and you say "I'm going to kill you for that" that's fine. Turn of phrase
*) If you say "I know where you live and I'm going to rape your family"? That's not ok.

If you can't spot the odd one out, you are part of the problem.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 2 years ago
Say that to the kid that was beat up at school for doing anything differently.
Social convention for politeness does not equal social convention for appearance/taste in music/sex, etc. And I think you know full well what I was aiming at with my comment, considering this is about politeness/rudeness/bullying/harassment.

As for the rest of what you say, in my opinion, your viewpoint is what legitimises online-bullying on everything from pressure about sex, to body-image. Another person does not have the right to express their dissatisfaction with any part of me. If they cannot say something nice, then they can not say anything at all.
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Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games2 years ago
Paul I already said in a reply here to Jessica that I left stalking out of normal friend/part of the game behavior because of that.

If something transcends talk to physical, it's a completely different issue. Most of the time when playing video games you are anonymous playing with other people who are anonymous to you as well, and this is what I'm addressing.
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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis2 years ago
Have to agree for the most part with Robert tbh, a group of friends (of all ages) are always going to throw insults and jabs at each other when they get riled like they do in Multiplayer games. It may be immature James but it can be fun, if it is "below you" then fair enough but that is more a reflection of the circle of friends you have where you all don't take part in such banter.

It isn't uncommon to hear groups of friends online shouting obscenities and "I'm gonna f*** you up" being thrown at each other especially in FPS games. No where in any of it are they threatening their real life or well being.
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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz2 years ago
It isn't uncommon to hear groups of friends online shouting obscenities and "I'm gonna f*** you up" being thrown at each other especially in FPS games.
I get that. But to steer this conversation back on track, it's about how welcoming (or not) that sort of environment is for women. If I'm a woman do I really want to subject myself to that? It can turn very quickly from that to shit like "I'm going to rape you" all in the name of "fun" So why would any woman put up with that?
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Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship2 years ago
In some environments, in certain contexts, men gratuitously insulting each other is not only not offensive, it's affectionate. If you think that's a contentious assertion, you haven't spent much time in working class male dominated environments. It's totally normal (for some people).

But context is everything. Behaviour must be moderated by context, always. What is there to disagree about, here? Obviously calling people you've just met a load of names is liable to be interpreted as abuse, not unfairly.

TL;DR - modify your behaviour depending on context. Absolutist statements about this issue that ignore context make no sense.
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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis2 years ago
@James you are right. Microsoft and Sony offer protections against the environment in question though.

If I may take us back a few years, one article I remember from years ago on Kotaku was a games developer saying "I wish more British people would use Microphones online". This was in reference to the fact microphone users on Xbox Live were predominantly male Americans.

Back then my thoughts were; We do use our Microphones but we join parties with our friends because we don't want the abuse that comes from being British when playing with some of the American players. I'm sure some of us here have heard what I mean, usually offensive comments about accents, "drinking tea", "how they saved us in the War" etc.

This is a similar scenario. So my question is, are women actively playing but just don't want to be identified and instead have a "neutral gender gamertag" and keep off the mic? Or are gamers just out right scaring away players that don't feel the environment is right for them?
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So my question is, are women actively playing but just don't want to be identified and instead have a "neutral gender gamertag" and keep off the mic? Or are gamers just out right scaring away players that don't feel the environment is right for them?
This is anecdotal, but in my experience ~as a woman playing online games~ who speaks to other women who play online games, yes. Both of these things happen, quite a lot. Personally, even though I don't play the type of competitive games which are usually singled out for the worst behaviours(FPS and MOBAs), I never use a mic unless I'm playing with people I know well, and I have seen player attitudes towards me change quite dramatically - not always in an outright aggressive way, but often in a way that is still quite uncomfortable - if they realise I'm a woman. It gets old.
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Pete Thompson Editor 2 years ago
I have quite a few female gaming friends, and believe me they can all give as good as they get when it comes to bravado and banter while gaming.. I guess it's all down to the type of person you are as to how you respond to others..

I would have put the percentage of those being called offensive names higher, just look on any gaming related site, forum or video and you'll see gamers going at each other, to a point that it's quite depressing to see people who share the same hobby act so hostile towards others who share that interest..

I may just be old skool, but If I heard someone giving a female gamer a hard time in a game lobby for no other reason than because she's female I couldn't stand by and let them continue, maybe if more people did the same there wouldn't be an issue..

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Pete Thompson on 23rd October 2014 6:47pm

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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus2 years ago
"I have a few friends", "I know this one chick", "My sister can"

Guys. Jesus Christ. How much smoke do we need to see before we realize there's a massive fire in terms of not just simply locker-room insults (which aren't typically the issue), but outright sheer vitriol? Doxxing, threats, shit a woman can't go five minutes without some dude trying to get into her pants. I know a LOT of women that don't use voice chat because they can't concentrate on raids or what not without someone masturbating all over their mic.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 2 years ago
I never use a mic unless I'm playing with people I know well, and I have seen player attitudes towards me change quite dramatically - not always in an outright aggressive way, but often in a way that is still quite uncomfortable - if they realise I'm a woman.
Sadly thats the way alot of women I know are when it comes to using their mics. I remember around 10 years ago everyone used their mics on Xbox Live because it was still pretty new. But over the years you see far less people using them because abuse is pretty rampant and unfortunatley it's usually much worse for women. When playing with some of my female friends it's like the moment one of them says anything in the pregame lobby some people start being dicks.

This is why I have long called for a record button for voice chat. That way it would be much easier to record offensive speech, send it to a moderator and say "listen to that" instead of having to type it all out and have them question your side of the story. But apparently theres laws forbidding these kind of recording. That sucks...alot. I'm all for privacy but there needs to be better definitive ways to catch and deal with the offending players other than writing/typing up a report and then hoping that a moderator catches that person in the act.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 23rd October 2014 9:18pm

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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis2 years ago
@Paul Jace, now you can "Xbox, record that", also when you report abuse through the Xbox reporting system I read a long time ago that Microsoft gets the recording of what just happened for review automatically. Whether that last bit is true is unknown.
I'd be surprised if laws existed like that outside of tapping and entrapment. Otherwise using Twitch, Elgato recording devices etc to stream/record your gaming would be violating that law wouldn't it?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Barrie Tingle on 24th October 2014 12:04am

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Richard Vaught Studying B.A. in Game Design, University of Advancing Technology2 years ago
I have been following these threads for a while, and all in all, it makes my head hurt. Between the thin skin, the self-entitlement, the tit-for-tat "I won't change, you change" childish BS, and the "It's ONLY <insert demographic here> that is being targeted", it's enough to make me want to wash my hands of civilization and go back to solo games on my couch. What are we? 6 year olds? No, my 6 year old is more mature than that.

Stop being a bunch of thin-skinned, politically-correct-when-it's-convenient, bullying, hate mongers and grow up.If you don't like two piece bikinis, does that give you the right to go to the beach and force everyone into a one piece, or to go to the strip club and put all the women in a burka just because you are 'offended'? What happens in 'public' is public, not private. You control your private space, but if you don't like what happens in public you are free to leave and go somewhere else. Don't like the strip club, leave and go to a regular night club? What, rap offends you too, then leave and go to a country bar. Alcohol offends you? Then leave and go to bloody Starbucks.

People segregate based on what they identify with. You can not FORCE people to accept everyone. It doesn't work. It's like oil and water. No matter how violently you shake it they will ALWAYS separate and segregate. Even in a free society with equality under law, people segregate. They do it to themselves, naturally, based on shared identities. The one thing I never see in these conversations is, "Why don't we build a space designed for <insert demographic here> and show how it can be done better." It's always let's change someone else's space to suit us.

Stop dismissing everytime some one says that they know people that don't get offended just because you know people that DO get offended. One does not negate the other. That's right, @Christopher Bowen, looking at you on that one. My ex-wife would have been the first one to head-shot you and then Tea-bag you in a Halo Death match, talkin' smack the whole time. My wife and daughters now would just hit the mute button on a player and keep playing. It is not all-or-nothing, everyone or no one. It's not men vs. women. It isn't us vs. them. It is a relative minority of passive/aggressive loud mouth assholes that can't deal with their issues like reasonable human beings, and they exist on both sides of the fence.

And, so as not to ignore the other side of the fence, violence, sexual harassment, and death threats are never ok, not under any circumstances, no matter who does it. Neither is demonizing an entire population. That type of propaganda has no other possible ending other than violence. Raise your hand if you realize that this is EXACTLY what has been leading to radicalization in virtually every aspect of society. So I don't care if you are a #GamerGate advocate, or a 'Feminist', boy, girl, man, woman, or transgender, you need to stop being little bigoted prigs. Make games, play games, make friends, build communities, have fun!!!, but if you don't like where you are, go somewhere else. No one made you come, and no one will stop you from leaving.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Richard Vaught on 24th October 2014 1:53am

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Richard Vaught Studying B.A. in Game Design, University of Advancing Technology2 years ago
And I suppose it is also worth noting that the researchers polled less than 3000 people, and extrapolated that to mean all internet users. that is less than .00001% of a the population. How representative of reality do you REALLY think that is?

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. ~ Robert Heinlein

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Richard Vaught on 24th October 2014 1:58am

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Richard Vaught Studying B.A. in Game Design, University of Advancing Technology2 years ago
James, why is it incumbent on an existing community to be welcoming to others that do not share their values or way of life? That is a very Western mode of thought, and very American in particular. That's the kind of thinking that says, "Let's go to Japan and force them all to speak English because I am too lazy to learn Japanese." Or, "I don't like the smell of incense, but I want to live in India. I'm going to tell them they have to stop using incense to suit my taste."
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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz2 years ago
James, why is it incumbent on an existing community to be welcoming to others that do not share their values or way of life?
C'mon man - values and way of life? We're talking about online gaming here, not someone's religious beliefs. I'm not saying they need to change how they play, but if they hear a woman's voice on the other end of the mic, then don't be a dick towards her. I don't think that's such a difficult thing to ask for. They don't need to kiss ass and be super nice and welcoming, but just don't be abusive. Call me old fashioned.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee2 years ago
This is how guys who are friends treat each other, and some girls too.
Trying not to rant but I disagree with this and think there are many levels in which this mentality is wrong in society - particularly with men and what it means to be masculine.

Sure, some of this does go on amongst friends but it doesn't mean harrassment should be considered part of normal banter or normal male behaviour, harassment being the context of this survey and discussion.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 2 years ago
It's odd trying to relate all these comments to real life play. When you're 6/8/10 years old playing with your school friends (whether at school or not), you wouldn't use abuse like is common online. At that point in life, you welcome friends and treat them nicely, because you've been brought-up to be nice, play nice, and not be rude. You know if you break any of those rules, either your mum, or your friend's mum (or both!) would have words with you.

At what point did we allow common niceties to become something we have to fight for? Is this what balanced argument does for us? We have to fight tooth-and-nail to just be treated with respect that any 8 year old playing with any other 8 year old offline would do automatically if they were raised properly?

Sorry if this is a bit rant-y. It's just, you look at the wider online community (not just gaming), and there's awful abuse and bullying occuring, and kids who have killed themselves because of it. This shouldn't even be a debate, this should be a "What can we do to improve?" meeting of ideas.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 24th October 2014 9:18am

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Dan Pearson Internal Business Editor, Square Enix West2 years ago
Richard, why the hell do you think that these communities are 'owned' by abusive a-holes? What makes them the 'existing community'? Where in the T&Cs of Xbox Live or PSN membership does it say "sorry, if you're female, or non-caucasian or not heterosexual or, in fact, just not comfortable with being a horrid little shit, you're going to have a bad time, deal with it"?

The fact that abuse is rife in online communities doesn't mean that it should be. No platform holder wants that, no publisher wants that, the majority of players don't want that. even if you really do want to talk about who was here first, you're going to have to go a lot further back than the tweens spewing trash all over the coms in Battlefield or LoL.

I have been playing games for over 25 years and I *never* turn on the mic or voice chat. The abusers, the homophobes, the sexists, they're not the people who make the industry great, they're the interlopers. That culture isn't gaming, it's part of a nasty backwater of gaming, occupied by a vocal and backward minority. In fact, Microsoft was supposed to be taking steps to make sure that people who had complaints made against them for unacceptable behaviour would be separated, only matched with each other. That cannot happen quickly enough.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dan Pearson on 24th October 2014 9:21am

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Dan Pearson Internal Business Editor, Square Enix West2 years ago
And Robert, do you seriously believe that being shitty to someone online should be part of a "Bill of fundamental rights" for the internet? Because I don't want to be the person to tell you this, but shouting abuse at people isn't enshrined in any bill of rights, online or off. Discrimination and threatening behaviour are already illegal.
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Paolo Giunti Narrative Designer 2 years ago
It's always let's change someone else's space to suit us.
Nope! You completely miss the mark here. This is about asking the simple basics of human respect.
Even if a group joined an online game community first, they don't own the place. Everyone who comes later has the same right to enjoy the game in peace.

And, in general, it might even be a long time and established tradition but, if that involves certain groups of people to be outright disrespected, then it think it's perfectly legitimate to ask for it to change.
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Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games2 years ago
And Robert, do you seriously believe that being shitty to someone online should be part of a "Bill of fundamental rights" for the internet?
Yes, absolutely. The alternative is "your rights end where my feelings begin". You give someone power to decide what kind of behavior and words should and shouldn't be allowed, and you gave power to that person to eventually censor you as well on issues you believe in. There's no limit to what will be considered offensive behavior once we start putting limits to it.

The only limit should be when something goes from mere words to real, physical life consequences. Then it should be illegal.

Other than that, it should be protected by free speech. Freedom of speech has to go all ways, for both things we dislike and things we like, or you'll find yourself eventually being censored on something you believed in because the social conventions have changed to another majority.

I agree with Richard Vaught. Public space is public space, and nobody gets to say what kind of behavior is acceptable there. Anything goes unless it becomes a real, physical threat. People who can't handle public space needs features like only playing with friends and mute buttons, or should confine themselves to private spaces. Trying to force a change on what is allowed on public space is downright evil
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Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship2 years ago
I somewhat agree, Robert, with the point that 'respect for feelings' can't trump the right of expression - I'm with Stephen Fry on that ("You're offended? Well so fucking what?").

But what you refer to as public space, usually isn't. It's hosted, and paid for, by someone. And whoever that is gets to set the rules.
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Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games2 years ago
It's hosted, and paid for, by someone. And whoever that is gets to set the rules.
That's fine and expected.
It would be nice if the companies on the top of the chain (like steam and microsoft) respected the people and companies paying and hosting services as well, but since steam and microsoft aren't public space as well, it's up to them. But the same way some people and the media are trying to get those companies to change their rules to suit them, people who want more freedom also have the right to protest their side.

What some people really fear, however, are actual laws being passed that will enforce not being able to criticize and offend people online, bringing discussion and freedom of speech on the internet, not just on games, to a halt. Once video games succumb to this way of thinking, one of the biggest entertainment industries (if not the biggest by now), we don't know what could happen next.

If you do a simple google search on "anti feminism illegal", you get a lot of scary pages like these

http://www.the-spearhead.com/2013/03/29/antifeminism-might-become-illegal-in-the-nordic-countries/
http://talesfromsweden.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/proposition-for-making-criticism-of-feminism-illegal/

A lot of the people reported being offended on the internet seem to be people pushing to actually make illegal to offend them. That's scary to me, and video games appear to be one of their primary platform to use it as an example.
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Dan Pearson Internal Business Editor, Square Enix West2 years ago
See, I don't hold with that "where will it end?" argument in relation to limiting free speech. As I said, we've already got restrictions in place, which have spread no further (although governments will never stop trying).

But beliefs aside, Nick's point is the fulcrum. These are not public spaces, they are owned by businesses. They have the right to set rules and dismiss those who don't abide by them. Hard to police, but with the ability to record chat in place, I don't see why it isn't ubiquitous.
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Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games2 years ago
These are not public spaces, they are owned by businesses. They have the right to set rules and dismiss those who don't abide by them
And those that want the businesses to set rules that are more in terms with freedom of speech have the right to protest their side to them as well. Hopefully without being seem automatically as a 'bigot white basement-dweller manchild mysoginist' for wanting to promote freedom of speech online. Which means I'm not playing for my side, my view of things, but for the right for everyone to act in any way they want, including the people I don't approve of.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Robert Mac-Donald on 24th October 2014 3:46pm

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for the right for everyone to act in any way they want, including the people I don't approve of.
Except, apparently, the people who want to be able to do any of this without being harassed.
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Dan Pearson Internal Business Editor, Square Enix West2 years ago
Speaking from experience, I would say that it enhances customer experience far more to introduce restrictions based on common decency than to allow anyone to say anything. I really don't see what is gained from allowing people to abuse, other than to assuage this paranoia about all free speech disappearing.
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Paolo Giunti Narrative Designer 2 years ago
"your rights end where my feelings begin"
Your rights end when you start being deliberately harmful to others. That's more like it.

There's a significant difference between having a strong negative opinion about a certain subject or person (which someone might perceive as insulting, but, well, that can't be helped) and going out of your way to try and make someone feel miserable.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paolo Giunti on 25th October 2014 1:18am

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Paul Jace Merchandiser 2 years ago
@Barrie Tingle
now you can "Xbox, record that", also when you report abuse through the Xbox reporting system I read a long time ago that Microsoft gets the recording of what just happened for review automatically. Whether that last bit is true is unknown.
Thats good to know, although it would only apply to kinect owners and my XBO didn't come with kinect. I've only had my system around a month so I haven't even played online multiplayer on it yet and thus am alittle unfamiliar with it's reporting system. However, I do remember what Dan said about Microsoft supposely working on having a better system in place for reporting offending players and making sure that they would only get matched up with each other. Hopefully thats in place next month when everyone heads online for Call of Duty Advanced Warfare and Halo: The Master Cheif Collection.

As for the law, if it doesn't exist then thats even better because it's one less barrier standing in the way of a record button/feature turning into reality. Hopefully it can be added in a future update.
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Richard Vaught Studying B.A. in Game Design, University of Advancing Technology2 years ago
@Dan Pearson Thank you for setting up a straw man and then knocking it down. This is why these threads have given me a headache because this is what both sides of the controversy have been doing. Repeatedly. Apparently basic reading comprehension does not exist. Also worth noting, your use of " quotes" is actually only relevant if I actually said what you say I said, which in this case, I didn't . I would think that as a European Editor you would realize that. In fact, I said the exact OPPOSITE of what you are claiming I said. I would also assume that, as an editor, you are aware that British and American interpretation of the use of quotation marks is significantly different. I said you (i.e. the individual reading this) are not in control of what happens in public spaces. That is why they are PUBLIC SPACES.

XBox, PSN, and other service providers (You know, those giant corporations that you take it upon yourself to speak for) DO own those spaces, and they have made them public venues. The only people with the right to demand ANYTHING in those spaces are their respective owners. They already have their terms of conduct in place and their channels for reporting abuse, and those terms of conduct have been vetted by the respective legal systems. It is up to them, as owners of that space, to set the tone for what is and is not permissible in their space and the degree of enforcement they wish to apply. Anyone that does not LIKE how they run it is free to try to reason with them as to why they should change it, or they can simply leave, just like they would leave a bar that did not give them the atmosphere they are looking for.

See, that is how a free market and free society works. When something gains enough critical mass the financial pressure alone changes the dynamics by forcing business owners to respond to the majority wishes of their target demographic. If, as you say, "No platform holder wants that, no publisher wants that, the majority of players don't want that." then they will leave, and take their business elsewhere, forcing the business owners to either change or go out of business.

Like you, I have been gaming for over 25 years. Unlike you, I DO turn on my chat, and have built some wonderful relationships that have transcended a specific game world and spanned all corners of the globe. When I found people that were distasteful, I followed my own advice and either learned to cope with it, found a way to /ignore /mute them, or found some other way to naturally segregate myself from them. Overtime, I built up a network of friends that I liked and could get along with, and we formed our own little community that gamed together and could selectively include or exclude those that did or did not fit in. See, that is how mature, responsible people behave. I didn't stoop to their level and start shaming them or harassing them return. I changed MY circumstances, and left them to their own grave in peace.

If everyone just took those simple steps, ignore and segregate, eventually they(the trolls) would be left with no one to engage with except their own kind, and if that is what their community deemed appropriate, then they could treat each other like shit all day long and the impact would be largely eliminated. (i.e. Like Microsoft is taking steps to facilitate) I'm not saying that we don't need to educate people, talk to people, or have reasonable, rational discourse, but I am also not so self-deluded that I actually think that is what has been happening from either camp. #GG folks have been making threats. Feminist have been making threats. Doxxing has been done on both sides. Trolling has been happening on both sides. Not to mention gross stereotyping, insults, and general harassment.

If you want to have a productive conversation about sexism, inequality, racism, and other real issues, you have to start on the grounds of respect. You also have to start from the position that opinions, even yours & mine, are like assholes; Everyone has one and they all stink. If you start from a hostile position, like you so clearly show from post, then all you will do is breed a climate that is full of hostility and contempt.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Richard Vaught on 25th October 2014 5:04am

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Richard Vaught Studying B.A. in Game Design, University of Advancing Technology2 years ago
@james

Yes, values and way of life. That doesn't have to mean some huge sweeping religion or anything of the sort. It can, and does, also include how people talk to each other, treat each other, and what they find offensive. I could give examples of cliques that behave just the way that has been described in these comments, bagging on each other, even rough housing with each other (For example, anyone ever watch Jackass? It's a dumb show, but it makes the point..) , but there really is no need. I'm sure no reasonable person here thinks that every group friends treats each other exactly the same way.
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Richard Vaught Studying B.A. in Game Design, University of Advancing Technology2 years ago
@Nick McCrea
But what you refer to as public space, usually isn't. It's hosted, and paid for, by someone. And whoever that is gets to set the rules.
Ownership is not what defines a public space. A public space is defined by its intended use.
A public place is generally an indoor or outdoor area, whether privately or publicly owned, to which the public have access by right or by invitation, expressed or implied, whether by payment of money or not, but not a place when used exclusively by one or more individuals for a private gathering or other personal purpose.
So yes, game servers are 'public spaces'. That does not mean that the owners can't enforce some rules, but it does place them under legal restrictions as to which rules they can place and enforce.
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Dan Pearson Internal Business Editor, Square Enix West2 years ago
I don't really follow your argument, Robert, particularly the bit about quotation marks, but what I was trying to get across is that nobody is turning up and asking people to change because it suits them, just to adhere to the rules that already exist.

This isn't a bikinis and burkas situation, as you so elegantly put it, this is more like expecting people not to shout abuse at you in the street because it's already the law not to do so.
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Richard Vaught Studying B.A. in Game Design, University of Advancing Technology2 years ago
@Dan I am assuming that you mean behavior like this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvYyGTmcP80

The mistake is to pretend that it is all one sided. I don't condone this type of behavior from anyone, but I find it particularly abhorent when this type of behavior is not only accepted, but ENCOURAGED, and then they attempt to play the victim.

You can't convince me to agree with you. I will criticize all assholes equally, and assholes are gender agnostic.
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Dan Pearson Internal Business Editor, Square Enix West2 years ago
Where did I say that women are never abusive?
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Richard Vaught Studying B.A. in Game Design, University of Advancing Technology2 years ago
@Dan You didn't say that, and I didn't quote you as saying it. The article has a biased slant to it, and I disagree with the article on the premise that harassment and violence is universal. Throwing red herrings to say that it is all (or even mostly) about men, women, "neck-bearded basement dwellers", or "feminazis" only removes the possibility of rational, reasoned discussion, marginalizes victims of various demographics. It also diminishes their agency by painting them as 'damsels-in-distress', like they are unable to deal with their issues.

You made the comment about harassing behavior, and I posted that particular link as non-traditional example of harassment, not for your benefit, but for the benefit of others who would claim it is all (or mostly) about women. I think that the first step towards any kind of egalitarian state in the industry is to start by changing the tone of our arguments. We have to stop demonizing whole segments of the population, and start talking about people as people. If gender equality is REALLY the issue, then leave gender out of the conversation and talk about equality for all people, otherwise it will never be equal.
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