Game Over Hate Knowledge Center Launched
In a constant effort to gather and organize the online discussions and resources related to hate in gaming environments and inclusive gaming, we’ve launched an online “Knowledge Center”. It will be continuously updated and organized with links and media relevant to the topics of Game Over Hate. Visit it and drop us a link. Anyone can contribute to it.
You can find it at inclusivegaming.tumblr.com
Game Over Hate Workshop in the Digital Discrimination And Social Networks International Conference
Game Over Hate will be present in the Digital Discrimination and Social Networks International Conference thatwill take place on 13th and 14th March 2014 in Barcelona.
“With great power comes great responsibility” Games, the best and worst of tomorrow’s online communities | Game Over Hate
A look into the currently most profitable branch of the entertainment industry (video games), the massive online communities that exist around it and how everything comes together in a world of hate speech, trolling and rape culture. In this workshop we will discuss the role of the internet as both entertainment and as an alternative to offline socialization by looking at the impact, size and scope of the new online gaming communities.
We’ll unmask some stereotypes about games and gamers to understand how mainstreamed and massified this reality has become. We will discuss how players interact online, what types of games they play and what happens when so many people cooperate and compete online.
GameOverHate looks at how exactly do players engage with each other. Who moderates these communities? Who makes sure that abuse and discrimination don’t run rampant on these environments? And what happens when they do? In an effort to understand this, we’ll look into cases from different communities, such as Anita Sarkeesian (FeministFrequency), Phil Fish (FEZ), Carolyn Petit (GameSpot), Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest), and “Fat, Ugly or Slutty”. The examples showcase the toxicity of gaming communities, which can be extremely unwelcoming and aggressive particularly towards women, minority groups, new gamers and developers.
Finally, we’ll talk about how these issues can be addressed. How can a culture so well established reshape itself. Is change even possible? Is it desired? And who has the responsibility and means to drive this change? Can one person make a difference? Can these online communities become friendlier and more inclusive without abandoning what made them so popular in the first place? For this we’ll look at some good practices from developers, journalists and players that shaped communities and left their mark on video game culture (Guild Wars 2, League of Legends, #onereasonwhy, Feedbackula); and discuss if this medium can become an example of how to reclaim safe spaces online and to push digital culture forward. So, are gaming spaces so different from the rest of online communities?
Well… Yes and no. Come to the workshop and find out why.
“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.