Star Citizen Moderator Removed After Banning Girl Gamer From Forums

Star Citizen Moderator removed after banning a girl gamer from the forums who asked for "Girls' Only" group.

Over the weekend there was quite a scuffle over in the Star Citizen forum when user "Lauresh" from Adelaide, Australia, made a statement as to her intention of creating a community exclusively for women.

The thread entitled "Female Gamers Group" sparked numerous negative trolling to say the least, and surprisingly, many were by women themselves.

Here's part of the thread:

Lauresh: "Hi SC backers and fans.

After a conversation today I realized that there's not really a place for the females in Star Citizen to hang out and talk about random stuff in a safe environment so I'm starting one.

I have no idea what the group will be called yet as I'm bad with picking names so for now I'll just call it the Female Gamers Group of Star Citizen (Yes, this WILL be changing)."

She then goes on to lay down some rules on how to get into the group.

"To qualify to become a member you need to identify as a female (absolutely no guys!) and that's it. There will of course be group rules such as anything said in the group must not be repeated outside of the group without the permission of the person and such but generally it'll be a pretty relaxing place to hang out and chat."

Sounds fairly simple to me, like any other private group; but then Lauresh adds this.

"Girls, If you're keen on getting involved please PM me here on the forums and I'll setup a voice interview with you and a general background check. I should have a jabber server setup for us to chat on soon."

Excuse me? A background check? Really?

Now if that's her way of verifying that you're really a female rather than take your word for it, I can understand. Yet stating things like that can provoke all kinds of haters in my opinion. Most of the feedback from females didn't understand the need for a gender specific group.

Pippy: "Hi lauresh,

While I understand what you are trying to do and wish you luck with your org, I can't help but feel a little frustrated at the idea that we must isolate ourselves from men in order to feel "safe". 

As an adult I have long since outgrown the " no boys allowed" phase of my life, and while online gaming communities do still tend to look like boys clubs, I don't see starting a gender only specific group as a mature or useful thing to do.

Gender is not and should not be the single most important feature that defines you, and I would much rather join an org that focused on the character and merit of it's membership instead.

Not really intended to sound rude or judgey, just wanted to put in my two cents."

Now I agree with user "Pippy" very much so in what she says here, but I also know (depends very much on the game being played) that wanting to play in a "safe" environment isn't a bad thing either. I have been exposed to so many immature boys who are so disrespectful I wanted to wash their mouths out with soap. It's also these types of people who make female gamers not want to play or at least, not want to speak.

So was calling for a Girls' Only group so bad?

According to Cloud Imperium Games' Ben Lesnick, it isn't.

"Women online, and especially women in gaming, have it very, very tough in ways that men absolutely do not understand. This isn't an argument for the community to have, it's a fact. Our moderators (and game designers and programmers and everyone else involved in Star Citizen) should do everything possible to create a safe environment, not encourage typical internet knife-fighting in this regard. And as if it even needed to be said, there is more than enough room for a female-only group in the 'verse. Making connections like that is what our Organizations system is for, and there's absolutely no additional room to argue with that."

Lauresh ended up being banned by the forum's moderators. Cloud Imperium Games responded today by lifting the ban, reinstating the Female Gamer Group thread to the forum, and removed the moderator who issued the ban "pending further review."

"Let me begin by stating what I'm surprised isn't obvious: Cloud Imperium Games is not in the business of preventing women from playing our game," Lesnick wrote in a post on the Roberts Space Industries forum.

"Part of the Star Citizen dream is to build a game that crosses traditional gamer boundaries and includes an experience that everyone can enjoy. Certainly, we are not sitting around in smoky boardrooms dreaming of ways to exclude 50 percent of the planet in our space adventure."

Lesnick went on to say that Lauresh was part of a group from the Something Awful website community that had been "using this as an opportunity to troll the forums."

"The user in question is also part of the Something Awful group, which made the moderator dealing with the issue believe the entire thread was a setup. This would not be the first time SA Goons have created an issue. However, on review and in spite of the sheer volume of concerned Goons coming out of the woodwork on this, I do not believe the thread was necessarily a setup and that several mistakes were made in terms of moderation."

A personal apology was made to Lauresh over Twitter by Lesnick, but she's still quite upset, and asked for CIG to change its moderation policy--which I don't disagree on.

"I feel that the community manager is neglecting the community by not being involved in the issues beyond the absolute bare minimum and there has been no word on whether the moderation policies and procedures are going to be changed since they seem quite heavy handed and it's quite obvious their record keeping is shoddy at best," Lauresh said last night.

What do you think? Please tell us in the comments.

Featured Columnist

Venisia is really just a kid in adult form. She is a published author, photographer, artist, executive assistant, public relations coordinator, game writer, gamer of 35+ years, geek, nerd, singer, dancer, senior editor, freelance journalist, comic & film aficionado, podcaster, activist, and volunteer. Venisia is a huge fan of comics, anime, EVERY genre of gaming, dance, horror/martial arts films, Doctor Who, Daleks, Star Wars, Monty Python, Flash Gordon, Black Dynamite, and anything by Mel Brooks (who doesn't appreciate Spaceballs?).

Published May. 6th 2014
  • Ashley_9892
    CIG still has absolutely terrible moderation all around. My husband has little by little spent $465 supporting this game (to include getting a ship I wanted), and I've watched the way he has been treated by CIG's moderators during his months-long participation on that site.

    Their moderators are volunteers, and they play favorites. Rules are only enforced when somebody says something against a moderator's agenda. Their latest thing has been to complain all the time about joysticks, so anybody who uses a mouse is abused on that site.

    The enforcement of rules is so inconsistent that it creates a toxic environment where to fit in with the community, people have to speak harshly about the people making the game and hosting the community to begin with.

    Sometimes, moderators there pick out any little thing they can twist to ban a user or put them on probation. It doesn't even have to be a violation of any rule; it need only look like it can be portrayed that way.

    Meanwhile, an uncountable number of posts that actually do blatantly violate the rules get a free pass, just so long as they're in a moderator's clique.

    CIG has, bottom line, the most unprofessional community management I've ever seen. People give them hundreds to thousands of dollars to be treated like trash by them. So, it's not a surprise to find this article once I started looking into this.
  • 8bitg33k
    I agree, the current moderation sucks and mods rarely bother to look at the big picture or context.
  • Spyke_3447
    Absolute GOTIS (Girl on the internet syndrome) issue here.

    You are absolutely NOT required to give your ACTUAL gender to anyone online you can choose male in the drop down boxc and no one will bat an eyelid. so as far as I'm concerned until you identify as male or female you remain simply a person and one of undisclosed gender. I'll treat you on your actions and words not on what's allegedly between your legs.

    By first disclosing her gender, and then going on to try and segregate a community based on that, they've created a situation for themselves, and then served to exasperate it. I mean come on...

    Background checks? are you serious? this is nonsense...

    I know I'm going to sound a bit rude, but if you really want a break from men, then turn off the bloody MMO because you're BOUND to run into a few there... it's the height of entitlement to expect to on one hand disclose your gender and then expect that you're not going to be just as likely to attract male attention in a game, it will happen... relax... you can ignore/block and report issues... we ALL have to do it... stop being snowflakes... but for her to also have been a member of a group which is known for occasional trolling (IIRC) and then begin a somewhat controversial topic which promotes segregation and then expect to be taken SERIOUSLY?!

    this is f*cking pathetic, and utterly childish. You do not segregate an MMO because you want a little break from dealing with people of ANY race, creed or gender. OR cos you "want a girlie chat"

    This may be open to interpretation but seriously, segregation never works out all that well. And only helps to promote a mistrust and lack of understanding between genders.
  • Tom_7294
    Personally, I think there need to be more "whites only" forums. Some black people aren't always the nicest people to be around. Right, Venisia Gonzalez?
  • Benjamin Wilkinson
    Yea, let's segregate more! Does anyone else remember how fun it was in middle school when people would say, "No you can't play with us because [insert stupid childish reason]"?

    Inb4, point is moot because of my birth gender.
  • Capt. Eliza Creststeel
    Random thought - would this 'background check' also prove that Lauresh is female as well?

    Just asking.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    True it would.
  • Lisofby
    Hi ther all,
    I don't think you can ever prove anything online. Lol.
    Although identifying as female, maybe.
    I get what Elijah Is saying. With a bit of generosity the world would be so much better. Even a little of it!
    On the sexism note, geez it gets messed up. As a feminist, Naomi Woolf was questioned as to why a male voice appeared on her answer phone. I remember her answer was that feminism is about having choices.
    I do yoga etc at a women's centre. There's no guys.
    I imagine some women fear/ hate men. Irrationally, but with good reason. They do have men's nights, and discussions on men's health. But it's a women's centre.
    There's also men's sheds now. Places where guys can make stuff and discuss what's worrying them. I don't think that is sexist. In that I don't think it's designed to infantilise or denigrate the opposite sex. Just a place to feel safe. How ever erroneous those feelings might be.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Well said Lisofby.
  • Capt. Eliza Creststeel
    - sometimes men and women need their space apart. very true. As for proving identity, you are also right. Some groups have used voice to do so, but what's to say a guy doesn't ask a girl to stand in for him, etc. Of course if a guy asked me such a request I would very much question him.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Yes we do and you also bring up a good point. A guy could very easily ask a girl he knows to do that and yes I would also question such a request from a guy myself. It's crazy how things are.
  • Lisofby
    Like there's not enough unisex forums?
    Here's something you may not have considered:
    My interior design course was all girls. While we liked the idea of a guy, we had to change language to be inclusive etc.
    Then the other day, a classmate and I were discussing fake boobs in porn ( and my dislike, all in humour), ... He wants to know what we are on about...then says he's not interested in my sexual preferences. Disrespect?
    I can't help feeling something was lost since he joined.
    I like men, but sometimes it's nice not to have to deal with all the p.c./ immaturity/ harassment that might come up unintentionally. And yeah I know there can be issues with girls too. But if somebody wants to create a forum for purple people eaters only, they should be allowed. Just join an inclusive site and give over. Get something important to protest about!
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    I have no problem with a Girls Only forum and I agree some guys aren't always the nicest people to be around. I also agree there are more important things to get your "undies in a bunch" over.
  • Lisofby
    Love the name venisia!
    God bless em all. It really is just a game, right?
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Thank you and yes it is a game :)
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    Sounds like the bloke was just uncomfortable about the topic and tried to excuse it away in a less than appropriate way. Sadly a lot of people are stingy about one thing or another, even when they really shouldn't be.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Even if that was the case, doesn't make it right. Like Lesnick said there's no reason there can't be a Girls Only group in the 'verse and they welcome it.
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    Aye, not saying there can't be, but I also know a number of female gamers who roll their eyes at the idea and find it more sexist than the things they deal with in a unisex forum/group.

    Personally I think people should just do what they prefer, but we have to keep in mind there's always going to be two sides to this sort of thing.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Oh yes and I agree with that as well. It's like a double edged sword so to speak. My point is if someone wants to have one, who cares, if you don't agree that's ok but you don't need to bash someone if that's what they'd like. I just don't see the point. If you see a thread/posting you don't agree with, what is it inside you that feels the need to completely trash someone for their idea/opinion? Cyber bullying is what I call it.

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