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?