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ESA: "There's no place in the video game community for threats"

US video game trade association speaks out on the growing number of harassment cases in the industry

With the mainstream media now looking with a scornful eye in the direction of the video games industry, not for the old (and played out) argument that violent games provoke real-life crime but because certain GamerGate supporters have been threatening to assault or kill women like Brianna Wu and Anita Sarkeesian, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is finally speaking up against the wave of online harassment and misogyny.

Responding to an email from GamesIndustry.biz about whether the ESA was prepared to take a stand on the GamerGate movement, a spokesperson remarked, "Threats of violence and harassment are wrong. They have to stop. There is no place in the video game community-or our society-for personal attacks and threats."

For its part, the ESA does support women and minorities looking to get into the games industry with its ESA Foundation scholarship program. However, considering that the ESA's role is not only to look after its member companies and run E3 but to represent the games industry in the U.S. as a whole, the association may need to become more proactive in painting the industry in a better light among national media.

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) meanwhile spoke out against the ongoing harassment of women already back in late August. Its board of directors denounced the threats and 'doxxing' attacks, commenting, "While we support diverse viewpoints and healthy debate on the issues within our industry, we condemn personal attacks such as these which are not only morally reprehensible, but also illegal in many countries. We call on the entire game community to stand together against this abhorrent behavior."

Update: It's worth noting that the New York Times put a story about the attacks on feminist video game critics like Anita Sarkeesian on its front page today.

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Latest comments (4)

Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief4 years ago
I do see your point, but I think you may be wrong. The wave of revulsion that is spreading through mainstream media (the New York Times front page, for God's sake, Radio 4, other major outlets) seems to me to be a tipping point. It may not be the end. But I think it is the start of the end.
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Jesse Miller Staff Writer, PixlBit4 years ago
I love that the ESA is taking a stance on this, but I know that GG will just perceive this as some grand conspiracy of the evil feminist SJWs to ruin games, and as such gamers' lives. Oh the humanity!
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Chad Bordwell Game Designer, Ubisoft Toronto4 years ago
I guess I'm getting a little confused on this issue. Are they saying it's the industry threatening them, or the public threatening them? I think women getting harassed in the workplace and women getting harassed by the public are two very different things. So they're just saying they are against the public threats? Well duh.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Chad Bordwell on 16th October 2014 6:45pm

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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
Just to update on Barrie's post.

Looks like the hammer is out and they are now considering stiffer jail sentences for internet trolls. Internet trolls face up to two years in jail under new laws

This is good in one respect as it can be used to get these idiots who threaten people with physical violence online. But as with anything the devil will be in the detail.

What will be their definition of "Internet Troll"?? What kind of language is tolerated and what isn't?? If it is a clear case of "You can say anything to anyone, but as soon as you start threatening with violence then you are nicked!". But I do worry if not defined correctly, it could be used as a weapon to silence anyone who speaks out about someone else.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 19th October 2014 11:55am

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