Blog Post
GameGeex - Geek Morning America: Does Harassment have a place in gaming? Our online culture has started to turn ugly, but is that part of the gaming experience?

The most recent episode of Extra Credits brought up a subject that has been brewing in our gaming culture for a while now:  Harassment.  The trouble is, the entire American experience is saturated so much with bullying, and when you add the power that anonymity brings to the table on services like Xbox Live, all the bullies come out to play.  The poster child episode for how ugly this situation has become has to be the Cross Assault attack back in February, something I am surprised did not get more attention.  For the purposes of this discussion I'm going to post it below, not because I enjoy celebrating verbal attacks on women.

Because we live in this world where bullies need a voice, many subscribe to the notion that harassment is part of gaming itself.  That the social experience of heckling other players is what makes certain genres what they are.  Because this is such an important topic I wanted to make sure that we spent some time discussing it here in Game Geex.  I understand it's not the normally jaunty topic I pick for these discussions, but I feel if we don't continue an intelligent dialog on the subject we are doing our own community a great disservice. 

So I pose the question to you:  Is harassment really part of gaming culture, or are we better than the bullies?  How do you deal with harassment when you're in a game?

 

4 Comments for this post.
Like 3 Disike 0

Honestly, I feel this ties back to Gabe's Theory of Anonymity (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19 NSFW). If you give someone an open forum and no repercussions, they will more often then not be jackasses. Unfortunately, this is more prevalent in gaming, were we have turned horrid terms like "rape" into synonyms for "win over" or "defeat" - "Man, you are raping him!" doesn't really mean what they think it means, which is in a word, "Inconceivable".


[Sir Loin of Beef] @ 3:35:53 PM May 1, 2012
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Harassment is really something that needs to be addressed more and more these days. I'm talking more crackdowns on douchey behavior, better options to remove troublemakers from online servers, etc. I mean, Super Monday Night Combat doesn't even have an in-game report system, which is pretty astounding in itself.

I like Gabe's idea of controlling the "undesirables" by grouping people based on their behavior patterns. If it works, hopefully we can see more systems like that in future titles as well.


[Mandifesto] @ 3:58:10 PM May 1, 2012
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I tend to believe that bullying in every form is a symptom of a larger socioeconomic disease. No one ever says "Hey, it's okay that you cough up blood because of TB, it's part of breathing. Take the coughing away and we all might as well be dead."


[fraggadier] @ 1:58:10 AM May 1, 2012
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Thanks Amanda, that pictures gonna give me nightmares.


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