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Updated Editor’s Note 11/7/2017 – In an effort to further commit to our editorial vision of quality content about nothing but games or the industry, we are leaving this note here to let you know that this article does not meet the standards of that vision as it exists today. This article may be poorly written, or it may be well-written but with charged political content, which we have stepped away from. It’s not the ideas we have a problem with, as we do not discourage any viewpoint, we are just moving away from this sort of content. This article no longer represents TechRaptor’s editorial vision today and into the future. You can read more about why we are doing this here.

Recently, Andreas Zecher, of Spaces of Play, wrote an open letter to the gaming community that is calling for the end of harassment online. He invited all developers to put their name on this letter as a sort of petition. So far, a lot of high profile names appear on the growing list of 2500 people. These include people from Ubisoft, CD Projekt RED, Telltale Games, Nintendo, and more.

This is what the open letter says:

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.

Let me say this first: this is a wonderful idea and harassment does need to end. Harassment against Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, 10 year old boys, and everyone else. This is not an issue of “sides.” The letter calls for an end to all harassment. It is not only women or those connected to Zoe Quinn that have been harassed. Over the past couple of weeks a lot of vitriol has taken over the Internet, Twitter in particular.

That harassment is what caused this issue to be derailed. Instead of focusing on things like ethics or the content of games, the discussion became about how terrible a place the Internet can be. That is a discussion that needs to happen, surely, but it is not even close to the most important matter at hand right now. That is especially true considering just about any scandal, or news event really, on the Internet is going to be full of hateful people on all sides of an issue.

If there is ever going to be a real, honest discussion about the state of the gaming industry, the harassment needs to end. It only serves right now to completely change the issue into something else.

Regardless of how harassment affects current issues at hand, it is a downright immoral and contemptible behavior to participate in. It should never, ever happen for any reason.

With all of that said there is something else to consider with how this will effect the current issue about game journalism ethics. As I said before, this will become an article for many sites (which have already popped up in droves) to discuss the nature of harassment on the Internet, which I don’t have a problem with. However, I do have a problem if outlets, like The Mary Sue, are using this as an opportunity to push an agenda or point of view.

gaming community

What is terrible about that line of thought, which fortunately it does not look like too many places have gone down, is that it is entirely against the point of the letter. The letter is to unite the community and root out the people that harass within it. The letter does not serve to push an agenda or condemn the community, but calls it to action to help end the harassment.

With that said, we should all not let this take us away from the issue at hand. The ethical problems right now take precedence over this. That doesn’t mean that we cannot talk about both at the same time, but don’t let one drown the other out. We can work to remove harassment while at the same time evaluating the current ethical dilemmas.

When you see something on Youtube or Twitter, report it so it can be dealt with. It should just become, unfortunately, a part of internet life. While that happens, we can still have an ethical discussion. Neither action infringes on the others space or time.

I want to end with this: I applaud those who signed it, and I think this is absolutely something that major sites, well sites everywhere, should be reporting. However, this is something that needs to be reported without an opinion attached to it. A call to end harassment is a great thing, but should not be used to push an agenda to disparage an entire community. Don’t let the pushed agenda or opinion, or the discussion of harassment derail the real issues here. As discussed in a previous article about “The End of Gamers” it is in the favor of some sites to change what everyone is talking about.

All of us should be helping to end harassment for both the sake of ending it, and so we can discuss the gaming industry’s issues.

Andrew Otton

Editor in Chief

Editor in Chief at TechRaptor. Lover of some things, a not so much lover of other things.

  • Maharaja Crawford

    its a diversion, red herring, scream harassment loud enough and now one pays attentiom yo anything else. I am so frustrated with these sjw fucks

  • AnarKreig

    I’m surprisingly not mad at the harassment against the ten year old kid in that screencap. If anything I’m impressed by the boys mature demeanor and spirit to not give into the slander thrown at him.

    As for the open letter, I don’t care much for it. It’s only repeating what should be common sense and knowledge. Does anyone truly question the idea of harassment being a foul and despicable act?

  • Krytan

    What I don’t get is that I was taught like 28 years ago (I’m 31) that
    you don’t do things to people they don’t like. Heck my two year old
    niece knows you don’t pull on the dog’s tail because it hurts and the
    dog doesn’t like it. How is it that there are still individuals online
    (on both sides of the discussion) that don’t understand that?

    agree that the open letter needs to be read and pointed out to both
    sides of the discussion as well, because both the pro & against
    camps have what boils down to zealots on their sides making each side
    look like monsters to the other. I know a lot of companies have signed
    it, but I wonder how many have actually “Signed” it and not just passed
    their pen over it.

  • 2Doppelganger .

    The open letter basically states:
    I always get into the internet & forget that its the internet.

  • Red Lagoon

    “wrote an open letter to the gaming community” but Kotaku, Plygon, RPSH, Gamesutra, ect. said gamers are dead. Who is this letter referring to?

  • NextGame

    It’s a blatant smokescreen, non-apology, and underhanded attempt at attributing more blame towards gamers in an attempt to divert away from the actual issue.

    The developers who have kept well clear of this are the ones showing the most integrity and awareness of their customer base.

  • Knightwing19

    I like the idea but I don’t see how this can end without the people responsible for the collusion or suspected collusion being removed or at least investigated properly.

    If we just end it and move on then things will just go back the way it was before and this ugly situation will keep showing up again and again making it even harder to prevent in the future.

    Finish the good fight today so we don’t have to do it again tomorrow!

  • Zyr

    And where’s the open letter regarding widespread corruption in the gaming press? That’s the issue at hand. This article is a smokescreen.

  • Tony McModeNut

    The kid acted like a fucking boss. Mad props to him.

  • Kyzr Gaming

    What a shit article. This is the CNN approach: “Everyone is guilty/responsible.”

    Harassment is bad, yes. But time and time again, Anita/Zoe have shown their willingness to stage false flag stunts in order to hide behind this mentality. It JUST happened today, with Zoe posting some bullshit on her twitter of a 20 minute old 4chan thread (which her context DOESN’T show, was COMPLETELY renounced by 4chan). And it’s NOT about them. They and their bullshit are irrelevant. It’s about the “journalists” that are charged with covering them, and their rampant corruption.

    Don’t pretend that with this “white flag” drivel that you’ll sway these psychopaths. It’s a fanatical religion, not a civil rights group. If you aren’t 100% on-board with everything they say, you’re a heretic. Just look, /r/techraptor was banned on reddit a few hours ago, because you guys won’t submit completely to the Church of SJW. You think that was done by an honest admin?

    You guys have an obligation, if you want to be called journalists. Report the REAL fucking story, or go the fuck away. If you’re trying to placate them, you have to go the Polygon/Kotaku route, and those places won’t exist when this is all over.

  • Kaaria Mucherera

    Those diversionary tactics doe.

  • It’s been pointed out that the signatures include Anders Brevik. Who is apparently a game developer now. And has internet access in prison. Who knew?

  • I would just like to point you to this:

    “With that said, we should all not let this take us away from the issue at hand. The ethical problems right now take precedence over this. That doesn’t mean that we cannot talk about both at the same time, but don’t let one drown the other out. We can work to remove harassment while at the same time evaluating the current ethical dilemmas”

    and this:

    ” A call to end harassment is a great thing, but should not be used to push an agenda to disparage an entire community. Don’t let the pushed agenda or opinion, or the discussion of harassment derail the real issues here. As discussed in a previous article about “The End of Gamers” it is in the favor of some sites to change what everyone is talking about.”

  • Fruits

    I wish the game developers and gaming media people who signed this will sign and start a petition against unethical and flat out anti-consumer video game journalist (or should I say “blogger”; yes Kotaku, you’re a blog!) by video game journalists.

    It’s absolutely disgusting that video game journalists could be covering the games of friends and lovers and family members and not disclose their relationship.

    This diversion is quite frankly a joke, just like how saying “gaming is dead” is a joke.

  • wcg

    For me, this BS calls into question the hype and reviews for every indie game of that last few years. The current crop of “journalists” have put these indies on a pedestal with only two legs. I for one, am a figurative dead gamer to the various guilty web sites, I won’t darken their web server again.

  • On the first day there was also a Jimmy Rustle in it. (I told them to use Russell, but nooo ‘someone might not get it’) Too bloody obvious! they seem to scrutinise eastern names more, none of /a/’s submissions got in.

  • It got 600 in minutes, so I wager that whichever company started it just cc’d everyone they ever mailed before.

  • Olympion

    It’s become very clear that the mainstream gaming media, as well as a lot of indie developers and tech writers consider it okay to bully and harass gamers, especially gamers who are white, straight males. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the people signing that letter can be found harassing gamers on social media, or cheering on people harassing gamers. The stench of hypocrisy is strong.

  • AasimirSeraph

    A lot of gamers online consider it ok to bully and harass gamers who are LGBT or female. Of course not all, but it’s still very rampant. I just want to know why this side of the issue does not acknowledge that aspect of the discussion.

  • Psichaos

    Its a shame those with an agenda are pushing what should be an obvious and respectable goal to end harassment as a means to harass gamers, specifically by blaming and shaming them. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees the irony of this.

  • www

    It’s such an obvious attempt to divert everyone’s attention and get people on their side. Why not do this earlier, when they aren’t in the middle of copping flak from everyone?

  • Codrin Stavri

    Who signed it got the shaft.

    This petition was just a PR campaign for Anita $arkee$ian and im typing her name like that to draw awarness on the fact that she is a con artist.

    Using that petition her face was plastered in various media sites such as BBC and OTHER MAIN STREAM national news pappers!!!

    As you can see the article puts a spin on the story, making it sound as if the reason gamers and developers signed the petition is because we are suporting Anita. When the open letter and petition had NOTHING TO DO WITH HER!!!! Or real life harassment. It was just about IN GAME harassment, which we all know ANita is very safe from, because she plays no games

    Another intersting thing is a link to her video series with the tropes.

    When have you EVER and I mean EVER seen in a news papper a harassed person with a link to their blog/youtube?

    This was a huge PR stunt a slap in the face to all the gamers. Litterally they can’t take this shit any further.

    Internet aristocrat droped a nickle in the hole to see where the bottom is. Its been 4 days and that nickle is still falling -_-


  • ThatGuy

    Primarily because people won’t shut up about it, while simultaneously doing all they can to deflect from the fact it occurs to /everyone/. No one cares to address a temper tantrum thrown by one offended child when another child suffers the same offense and is completely overlooked.

    They obviously don’t care about anyone but themselves, so why exactly are we wrong to turn inward and ignore them back? I know that’s an extremely harsh and off putting way to word it, but it’s probably the only honest answer you’ll get.