Game Devs Petition Gamers to Curb Hate-speech and Verbal Abuse

Devs are speaking out against hate speech in the gaming community by signing Andreas Zecher's open letter to gamers.

Gaming culture is one of the fastest evolving in the world. It has changed and grown more in just a few decades than many cultures do in centuries. However, one thing that has not changed with this evolution is the prevalence of unbridled hate-speech and verbal abuse that, for many, defines the gaming community and relegates it forever to the status of “immature hobby.”

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Well, now hundreds of triple-A developers in the United States and Europe are calling for gamers to do something about it.

In an open letter to the gaming community at large Andreas Zecher – a designer working with Berlin-based independent developer Spaces of Play – calls on everyone in the games industry from developers to players to stop the hate. Zecher has worked on two of Spaces of Play’s most popular games: Future Unfolding and Spirits.

Spaces of Play is an indie developer with a focus on surreal, artistic games that offer easy access and deceptively deep story for players. Above you can see the artistic style of “Future Unfolding.”

This call for action comes on the heels of the Zoe Quinn-related controversy as well as the now-infamous harassment of Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency.

At one point, the aggressions of certain members of the gaming community were so threatening that Sarkeesian was forced to flee her home for fear of her physical safety.

Zecher’s letter is a response to the way these women and many others have been treated by the gaming public. The letter has been reproduced below:

We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish.

If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites.

If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in.

Thank you

– Andreas Zecher (Spaces of Play)

At this point Zecher’s petition to the community has been closed with endorsements from 2,495 developers and personalities in the industry, including representatives for Naughty Dog, Blizzard Entertainment, Bungie, Rockstar North, 343 Industries, and Epic Games among many others.


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Author
Travis McGee
Writer of fiction and correspondent here at GameSkinny. I'm an avid player of online, single-player, and tabletop games. I believe gaming is something that can draw people together or tear them apart depending on how we choose to play them - and how we inform ourselves about the important issues within the community.