“This is the last day of our conference in Budapest. It was a blast, a creative and committed community flowing over with examples and good practices.”
We posted a response on The Escapist’s forum (as a reply to a topic created about us) that pretty much sums up our feelings and ideas towards the conference. Check it out:
as one of the creators of GameOverHate I wanted to give some comments regarding this conversation.
Our team of volunteers undertook this endeavour because having to “deal with it” is rather pointless, if the options for dealing with it are either excluding the social factor of MMOs or dropping playing with other people. I am also convinced that a reflection on the terms community and MMO would not hurt every now and then. Recent announcements of Youtube and Gamespot are making pretty clear that the frequent outbursts of hate need to be addressed stronger.
What we are facilitating is an sphere of common interests between the gaming community and the campaign against hate speech of Council of Europe (http://nohatespeechmovement.org/). Therefore we are very much emphasising the Human Rights angle of this debate. Defending Free Speech is quite questionable if that results in diminishing the Human Rights of others. Why defend the right to speak freely of any asshat, attacking women or people of colour and others, instead of defending the other people’s right to equality, dignity or participation in cultural life? PvP is more fun without sore losers, co-op without rambling hate, competition is carried to the next level, if you have proper team work.
It is a rather wearily attitude to accept that hate as part of the game instead of contributing to change the community. Accepting that creates dieing communities. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy to say “haters gonna hate” and just shut up until players are forced to quit playing games or worst. It is of little surprise that the most popular MMOs have community management beyond the mute button.
Changes to a bad community do not happen over night. Brian Crecente, co-founder of Polygon pointed out at GameOverHate that it is much harder to introduce changes to the community at a later stage. The thing is, introducing a hate-free community from scratch is much easier. If you let the players rage for a couple of month and then try to change them, it becomes a matter of education; hard on the people that are used to vent and offend. Haters need victims but victims do not need haters. We are seeking to empower players that play inclusively and facilitate a network that is supporting them.
We are not looking to create change from scratch. There is plenty of initiatives out there, most of them USA based and we want to bring the discussion to Europe too; gamers are a global community after all. We had inputs from the European Game Developers Federation, Polygon, CCP Games and the MIT GameLab. We discussed big cases like Feminist Frequency or Gamepot’s GTA V review, as well as smaller cases which you can find all over the internet. We are still looking for input and feedback and will continue to gather cases and information.
This is the last day of our conference in Budapest. It was a blast, a creative and committed community flowing over with examples and good practices. Cherry in top was the social programme with foxes, disco, lots of mustaches and Nightmare 2.0. Greetings to the Escapist community from sunny Budapest and let’s chat some time, unless we are already on mute.