Popular Twitch Streamer Makes An Example Of Her Harassers

Annemunition, a popular Twitch streamer with over 300,000 followers, was just trying to be a decent teammate and call shots in Rainbow Six Siege. Then, over voice chat, came the questions: "Are you a man or a female?" And the accusations: "You stole my fucking content. You're shit at the game. Get out."

Photo: Annemunition

Annemunition, a variety streamer who plays games like Rainbow Six, PUBG, God of War, and Overwatch, was playing Rainbow Six in her off time last week, away from the sometimes pressurised environment of her Twitch channel. The people she was playing with had no idea who she was, but they knew she was a woman and that's all they needed to know.

Over the course of several rounds, they laid into her with a series of increasingly vile insults, calling her everything from "gamer girl" to "tranny bitch." She continued to play like normal, dying in some rounds and clutching others for her team. When she did well, one guy said she stole his kill. When she did poorly, they used that to justify their attacks. "We're not being like this because we don't like women," said one of the men. "We're being like this because you're shit, by the way."

"Are you playing the right video game, miss?" the same man said later. "This isn't like League Of Legends where you can just flash your titties on stream. It takes skill."

"I hope you die," another man said immediately afterward.

Annemunition kept her cool and finished the game. Then she decided to make an example of the people involved. She posted a video of the incident to her Twitter.

"'Why don't you use voice chat?' 'Why can't I find a girlfriend who plays video games?' 'Why do you mute people who ask you if you're a girl?' Gee, I dunno," she wrote.

The response was huge. As of now, the video has over half a million views and nearly 2000 comments, some of which share similar online horror stories. Annemunition told Kotaku in an email that she posted the video to make a point.

This is hardly the first time this kind of thing has happened to her, she said, and if it'd been during a stream, she would have just muted them. Since she was on her own, though, she decided to see how the situation would play out if she did nothing except make useful comments and help her team.

"As you saw in the video, that's all it took for them to devolve into toxicity," she said. "While I understand everyone, of all genders and backgrounds, can often be the subject of toxicity online, I really feel like people underestimate just how bad it can be for women or people who are recognised as 'other' over voice comms."

She added that streamers often feel a pressure to just roll with the punches when it comes to verbal harassment or other serious issues, but she worries about the kind of example that sets.

"I feel like there are a lot of expectations for streamers not to complain about anything ever and that we should just be positive and 'good vibes' only," she said. "When these types of things happen, I just think about all the young people (boys and girls) who experience this type of abuse online and don't have the tools to stand up for themselves other than to mute people and pretend everything is fine."

After Annemunition posted the video, one of the players who'd given her gallons of shit tried to apologise. In a sense. "I am extremely sorry for the way you feel, " he wrote in a tweet from an account that's since been deleted. "[K]now that the words I used were meaningless and have no substance."

"I appreciate that you want to apologise," Annemunition wrote back. "But man, you went HARD just because you heard a woman's voice... You called me a 'fucking tranny bitch' and told me to kill myself. Over nothing. All I did was exist." However, she went on to write that she sincerely hopes the guy learns from this and wants to better himself.

"I don't necessarily want to crucify people when I feel like there's the potential for them to walk away from the situation thinking 'Wow, I messed up. I said something really awful and it came back to bite me. I won't do that again,'" she told Kotaku, explaining why she chose to respond so kindly to an apology that was dodgy at best. "I wanted him to understand the gravity of his actions and the fact that words can be hurtful and that your actions have consequences."

In online games, she continued, people can tell others to kill themselves and face no real repercussions — or at least, not the sort of repercussions that would convince them to cork it for more than a handful of matches.

Meanwhile, the people being harassed are encouraged — both by their peers and the way many games' reporting systems work — to just shrug it off in the moment, no matter how much it's worming under their skin and writhing around.

"Gamers have learned that they can do these things without blowback because the solution so many people suggest is just to mute them and move on," Annemunition said.

That's why she decided to post the video, risking even more harassment from eager-to-pounce internet mobs in the process. If nobody creates consequences for this sort of thing that are immediate and consistent, yet also impactful in a way that will encourage them to learn rather than doubling down, nothing will change.

"I'm just sick of sweeping this behaviour under the rug and pretending it's all fine and dandy," she said. "It's easy to sweep things under the rug; it's hard to ask people to be better. Especially when so many people are just resigned to accepting the fact that online gaming and toxicity go hand-in-hand."

"Maybe that makes me a naive fool," she added, "but I refuse to accept that we can't treat each other with a little more kindness."


Comments

    I can't understand how game developers and publishers can let this go on. I work in data analytics - and I know they spend millions analysing what makes people spend more in a game. But simple parsing of in game chat to identify abusers? This isn't hard now - if you invest in it...

    Last edited 03/06/18 10:51 am

    Always felt bad for girls in voice chat, things always get real weird, real fast.

      If you speak up it might help turn that around, maybe?

    So knowing something was going to happen and instead of using the features provided to avoid harassment they just decided to sit there and listen to it. Professional victim much?

    Next they'll just blindly walk onto a pedestrian crossing despite seeing a car speeding that clearly won't have time to slow down.

      Nice one, not. She decided she wanted to highlight how toxic it is for women, and so, it is her own fault? Attitudes like yours normalise this kind of behaviour: "Its ok for people to behave obnoxiously, its up to everyone else to avoid it".

      I have an 11 year old daughter and part of me would love to play online games with her, but while it is the way it is, I choose to keep her offline, and away from the gutless a***holes who think that they can say and do what they like because of the anonymity. It is about time some legislation was enacted to make people culpable for sh1tty behaviour.

      Wouldn't hiding away using those features make you a victim?
      As opposed to making a stand and saying no I'm not hiding I'm entitled as much as any one else to be here?

        Use the features provided. Mute, report and move on. Why broadcast these trolls and give them the attention they are after?

          they don't want attention, that's why they feel they can do it anonymously. that's why when they get called out on the crap they say they try to backtrack. i'm sure the guy "loved" the attention so much that he has now deleted his twitter account.

          As one attempted to apologise after they got attention. It doesn't resemble the attention they are after at all. In fact if it happened more people may change their ways if they knew they could be held accountable.
          Problems don't get fixed by ignoring them. The reporting systems of a lot of games are absolutely sub par. So you ignore some one, block them, what ever. The troll has won, they have taken away some enjoyment of the game leading up to that with no repercussion.
          Some one standing up for them selves, publicly calling them out for their actions is not what the troll wants at all.

            Unfortunately, when people (streamers especially) start publicly calling others out more often for doing this it will become exactly what a lot of the trolls want.

            It's very much a damned if you do, damned if you don't sort of deal. On top of that, as you said most games reporting systems are mediocre at best, so the lack of any meaningful punishments within those systems means this sort of behavior isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

            I think Riot's honour system in League of Legends which is starting to prevent people from participating in certain game modes/events if they don't behave is one of the better approaches... Largely because instead of waving around a "Don't do this, or else!" ban hammer it instead tries to place incentive on being a decent human being. That said, it still has its issues like any system.

              Its super sad that there needs to be an incentive to not be a horrible person to people :(

                Indeed it is, but it is also not much different to codes of conduct in anything else.

                Sports are a good example. Football players and such being shitty people off the field get suspensions, fines, etc.

          Using another pedestrian crossing doesn't stop cars from speeding through them.

      using your analogy, it is more like her crossing when she was meant to, and the car was stopped waiting for the person to cross, when they noticed it was a woman so they speed up and swerve to purposely hit them when she was doing nothing wrong.

      Using those features to mute them, wouldnt that detract from her ability to work as a team which was all she was wanting to do? are you saying that it was somehow her fault for how they acted?

      Last edited 03/06/18 11:43 am

      Even if that were an appropriate analogy, that wouldn't change the fact that the speeding driver would deserve prosecution and all associated consequences. Victim blaming much?

        Cops: "Why didn't you get out of the way of the car and move on? Why are you bothering us with this 'crime' shit? Victim, much?"

      Professional victim blamer much?

        The amount of downvotes I have received because I refuse to enable these professional victims has ironically made me a victim.

          Nah its because you are being an apologist for people acting like douches

          yeah nah

          soooooo many downvotes though hey, they just keep rolling in...

          What you're doing isn't enabling the victim. They were the victim before you rushed in to attempt to victim-blame and diminish the attacks they received.

          What you're doing is supporting the offender, explicitly-stating that the victim's aim was to be abused.

          The only irony is that you consider yourself a victim, rather than a victim-shaming offender seeking to compound the situation.

          You're getting downvotes because you're almost comically wrongheaded, not because you're some flaming beacon for justice and sensible discourse.

      "Gamers have learned that they can do these things without blowback because the solution so many people suggest is just to mute them and move on," Annemunition said. Calling antisocial and pernicious behaviour out for being antisocial and pernicious is a proper thing to do in this situation; neglecting to say anything compounds a systemic problem by supporting the continuation of an injurious system.

      The problem is people who think verbal abuse is okay and the people who support them. Like you. There's no need to continue rationalising people's toxic behaviour.

        I’m not supporting their behaviour. I’m saying there are systems in place to mitigate this and the Twitch person decided to ignore those features hoping the outrage will turn into more viewers. Professional Victim.

          Let's go with the professional victim angle for a moment... If you could turn the shitty ways other people treat you into money for yourself, why in the hell would you NOT do that?

          Thinking about it for half a second... It might actually be one way to stop it happening. Simply because shitty people, internet trolls, etc, historically aren't so onboard with the idea of HELPING anyone.

          You're going to have to trust me a little on this one: your behaviour does support the kind of misogynistic behaviour sampled in this article. Even your defence does so.

          Repeatedly pointing to the functions that ameliorate antisocial behaviour, without acknowledging the culturally systemic mindsets and actions that cause those functions to exist, while simultaneously elevating the responsibility of someone who is being verbally abused - whose intentions you attribute to narcissism and personal gain - above that of their abuser sends the all-too-clear message that you're in support of people who engage in abusive behaviour within videogames.

          That's applicable to anyone who holds a stance akin to yours, or the extension: verbally abused folks shouldn't talk about their experiences and seek the support of their communities.

            Sorry but I can't trust you on this one. There are systems in place to mitigate and punish bad behaviour, sure they aren't the best (this downvote system being one of them), but they are there. Choosing not to use them and purposefully subjecting themselves to harassment they know they were going to suffer from by ignoring these systems tells me they are just crying out for attention for more views.

            Should women be abused in video games because of their gender? Of course not but when I see these sorts of articles it reminds me of the meme of the female riding the bicycle, throwing a stick into the front wheel and then blaming whatever.

              Can you agree that this is at least an issue that needs highlighting?
              I for one have found these conversations quite eye-opening (not being an online gamer) and I see this as a way to prevent deplorable behaviour rather than punish it after the fact.

              If this is even a fraction of the abuse female online gamers endure then I believe the issue deserves the attention. If your issue is with Anne getting the residual attention, how does she separate herself from this when she is the platform for broadcast?

              If her perspective came from anyone other than a female gamer it wouldn't feel as genuine. Humanising the issue may get people to think twice about what the say and think.

              Let me know if find any female perspectives in your own life that agree with your POV?

              Choosing not to use them and purposefully subjecting themselves to harassment they know they were going to suffer from by ignoring these systems they know they were going to suffer from by ignoring these systems tells me they are just crying out for attention for more views. it reminds me of the meme of the female riding the bicycle, throwing a stick into the front wheel and then blaming whatever These here are what I'm talking about: people don't get brownie points for acknowledging harassment and abuse exist if their proclamation is concomitant with the apportioning of blame on those who are being abused, thus rationalising and promoting abuse.

              If the statement is "abuse towards women exists in videogames and I don't support it but..." then it cannot be taken in good faith. Your statement cannot be taken in good faith, and the premise - you know women in videogames are bad because they don't adhere to the behavioural schemas you have ascribed to them - does not stand.

              The alternative is that women who have dealt with an unending, commonplace, disproportionate, gaslighting, victim-blaming queue of sexist abuse for existing in their preferred hobby might be inclined to speak up so the women who come after them won't have to deal with the same behaviours - i.e. calling out abusive behaviours for all to see.

              If you want people to believe that you think women shouldn't be abused in videogames because of their gender, maybe consider that last point before jumping up with a hot take on how they deserve it.

          There are system in place to mitigate your house being broken into, but you're still well within your rights to publicly shame the thief who did. You're completely off the mark with this 'professional victim' accusation, it's not at all applicable to this situation.

            Actually you aren't within your rights at all. To do so would hinder Police investigation and can actually affect the probability of a fair trial meaning you as the victim don't get victim of crime compensation.

              You're mistaken. You're legally and ethically within your rights and it does not interfere with any police investigation provided the statement is true.

                This isn't about legally being allowed to, this is about you posting something for everyone to see, possibly jeopardising the investigation. Then when the defendant is found not guilty you have opened yourself up for slander. If the Police want assistance in identifying somebody they will release the images themselves, doing so on your own behalf really pisses off the Constable investigating and usually places the case on the "I'll get around to that eventually" pile. If you aren't going to assist the Police with their investigation then don't bother calling them, also don't bother calling them when your own investigation has real consequences you can't handle.

                  > Actually you aren't within your rights at all.
                  > This isn't about legally being allowed to

                  These statements seem to be incompatible. I said as long as the statement is true, you're within your rights to make it publicly. Whether it 'might' interfere with a police investigation (which I separately dispute), you responded that you aren't within your rights at all. I maintain that you are.

                  Keep in mind, the comparison was to burglary specifically, not any random crime. The only part of the justice system at which publicity meaningfully interferes with an evidence-driven case like burglary is potential jury bias, which is why juries are generally asked if they know about the case and the defence attorney has the option to remove them during the selection for any reason.

                  Regarding slander, it requires making a knowingly false injurious statement. If the person speaking believes the statement to be true, it's not slander. Connected to that, being acquitted in court is not an assertion of innocence, it only means the burden of proof wasn't met. This is why the court declares the defendant guilty or not guilty - there's no such thing as an innocent ruling. As such, even if a court rules a burglar not guilty, it's still not a knowingly false statement to say they did it.

          I bet you also think woman should walk in pairs at night as well.

            Well... they should? Or in threes.

            In fact, most people would be better off walking home in pairs at night.

            I certainly feel safer walking through the city when I'm with friends.

              seriously , I dont think you understand the point. Woman shouldnt have to walk home in pairs, just as woman shouldnt have to not use a mic to simply play a computer game. Ever. These are only an issue because some men are sad little creatures. It is not for woman to change their behaviour because they are doing nothing wrong by existing.

              You really need to read up about this type of logic. There is a lot of reading material. It is crucial to understand the difference between asking people to protect themselves from harm and having to be in the position to do it in the first place.

                I get that you're a nice guy and you mean well.
                We just approach this from different angles. You seem to be pointing at what you wish the world was. Not what it is.

                What do you think the answer is? Is there one? Say we chose education? Education where? In our schools? Then what about residents from other nations? Do we assume they've have had the same sensitivity training?

                Look.. I understand where you're coming from. Women absolutely should not have to walk home in pairs. Nor should they restrict what the wear. But I'd love to know how you'd fix it.

                What I will agree with is not blaming the woman who is attacked by these sad little men when simply going about their lives (walking alone etc). But the risk of this happening is higher under these circumstances... so why not walk in pairs?

                The world is a very nasty place.

            Shouldn't have to but it is generally safer for anyone to walk in pairs at night. You personally should wear a bicycle helmet lined with tinfoil when outside just to be extra safe.

      Whats next with you?

      you tell a women who was walking home and assaulted it her fault for it happening because she should have stayed home instead?

      I have several words to describe a despicable human being like you, all of which would get me banned.

        How are you comparing someone being assaulted when they walk home, something they probably couldn't have predicted, to someone ignoring the mute and report function on a video game on purpose to build outrage so they can get pity views on their Twitch streams?

        I'm sure you have several words to describe me but we both know you wouldn't have the balls to say them to me because it might just get a little too real when there are consequences.

          Threatning me with violence.

          How very childish of you bud.

            It doesn't appear he was threatening you with violence.

            You called him a "despicable human". You then said you had much worse things to call him, but didn't want to get banned. He called that out with your "wouldn't have the balls to say them to me because it might just get a little too real when there are consequences"... and you immediately assume he means direct violence and called him childish?

            Not sure you've thought this through. You might disagree with his original point.. but you're the one who's let your emotions dictate the way you act here.

              I have no respect what so ever for people who jump straight to blaming the victim. And its obvious what he is inferring. I stand by my description of him.

                You're response is too strong.

                We're talking about online gaming. I turn voice chat off on every single game I play, as I don't enjoy getting called a %$%& after a long day at work when I'm just looking to relax for an hour.

                Am I taking crazy pills? Does this only happen to me? Is everyone else playing multi-player games, using voice chat, and somehow completely avoiding being called every disgusting word under the sun?

                  I can't speak for others, but if you told a story about how you were verbally abused by someone in a video game, my first reaction would be 'Wow that sucks, what a dick', not 'Why are you telling this story when you should have just ignored him and moved on? What a professional victim you are'. Avoiding victim-blaming has nothing to do with gender, it's that you had a shitty experience through no fault of your own and that's not right.

          You're making a lot of assumptions about her motives. Annemunition has over 300,000 followers and 11 million views on Twitch, where both metrics have been increasing fairly consistently for the last two years straight.

          What evidence do you have to support your assertion that she did this for 'pity views' and not for the reason she actually stated? What evidence leads you to believe she's lying?

      What a ridiculous pile-on.

      The very first thing everyone should do when playing an online game is MUTE THE CHAT.

      I'm not kidding. I literally won't play any game with voice chat because it always, always has some ultra tool who has to call everyone else a f***** or **** or ****** every simple time they feel even slightly frustrated. The more obvious the target (new player / female) the better.
      The sort of maniac who only feels confident when behind a microphone over the internet.

      I know what I'm in for when I can't turn voice chat off. To the extent that I won't purchase a game where it can't be turned off.

      And yeah, it's definitely going to be worse for women. In the same way it is when women walk down the street. Or hell, even in the workplace. Pretty much do anything which isn't heavily policed (of course, the workplace isn't a great example, as there has been a lot of progress there over the last few years with increased oversight).
      Some guys are utter creeps. And the best tool we have it to report this using the in-game tools. Should there be more? Absolutely (and I think we'll see this with AI in the future).

      But Christ-all-mighty.. you really upset the white knights today @simocrates. But I do get you're point. Unfortunately you won't find much interesting debate on Kotaku. Typically you'll find people would rather hoot and holler about how things "should be".

      Well guess what? Online gaming is an utter cesspool. Leave voice chat on when you spawn in PUBG, or during a single match of CS:GO, and you'll confirm it. The solution? Play single-player games, mute your multiplayer games, and contact your favourite developers about including better reporting tools. And USE the damn things.

        You know why he's gotten this backlash though. It's not white knighting, it's because he tried to shift responsibility to the person who did nothing to deserve that treatment, making it more about her responsibility to block and ignore, and less about her attackers' responsibility to not be fucksticks. It's because when she didn't do that, he insulted her by calling her a professional victim, simply for drawing attention to how she's treated. It also ignores the fact that she specifically addressed why she didn't just 'block and ignore' this time, because doing that is utterly ineffective at curbing the real problem of toxic behaviour.

        You don't fix problems like this by sticking your head in the sand and ignoring it. It's fine to advocate for the tools available like block/mute/ignore, but it's not fine to pretend like those are at all sufficient in stopping the problem. More needs to be done.

          True. The current tools aren't sufficient.

          I'm confident AI moderation is the eventual solution. Amazon's currently the leader here I think.

          What -should- be done though ZJ?

          In my opinion, games like Overwatch -might- be able to do something, as they only allow play on official servers. They could set up a system which reviews vlogs of reported behaviour and bans players within a week or so. It'd be costly, but its feasible. I actually believe they're working on something now.

          The user would then need to purchase a new copy of the game on a new Blizzard account (which I'm willing to bet they would do).

          BUT... What about games with private servers? How do you police those? Who would do so?

          I honestly have thought about this topic.. hence why I've made a decision to opt out of voice chat in-game. I just don't see a solution. All I do know is that if I choose to join public voice chat on a video game, then I'm almost definitely up some some good old fashioned toxicity.

            Fuck me, I've reduced this reply to half its original size and it's still enormous. Sorry for the length, but it's not a simple topic.

            I don't have all the answers, but I'll try to dump some thoughts that might at least hint at a direction. Basically, we need a cultural shift. The internet didn't used to always be this way. Of course you always had some arseholes who didn't care about consequences, they were always there and always will be, but they weren't as prevalent as they are now.

            The kind of internet culture we have today has become the way it is not just from popularity, but over decades of gradual change. People start out normal, but one of two things happens: either they lose their cool and act like a dick to someone and discover that holy shit, you can do that scot-free; or they see other people acting like dicks without consequence and think 'well shit, if we don't have to be respectable then I may as well join in on that too'. The idea that the person on the other end isn't real is a big factor - a lot of people that are dicks online have that 'it's just the internet' mentality, wilfully ignoring that their actions can and do hurt other real people. The recent update on the swatting incident is a good example - except for the swatter himself who's just an all-round dipshit, it obviously didn't register with the other kids at the time that their bullshit would have real consequences until news of the shooting aired, and then they panicked the fuck out.

            One of the reasons just ignoring the problem doesn't work is because the internet is enormous and anonymous. In real social circles if you're a dick you get shunned, and unless you're a sociopath that's a consequence most people don't want. But online, with millions of people and zero repercussions, weak-minded people cave and turn into enormous fuckwads. Who cares if one person in one game of Overwatch ignores you when there are thousands of games every day and millions of faceless other players to keep playing with? You could burn bridges every day for a year and still keep getting what you want out of the game, if all anyone did was just ignore you.

            How do you fix it, then? I don't know. This is a big, complex problem that isn't unique to gaming; cultural problems surface in all kinds of places, especially political contexts. Disincentives only work when the trolls care at all about losing the thing you're threatening to deny them. Incentives are even weaker, only working if the person wants the thing being offered ('a shiny hat if I have a clean season with no reports against me? Psh, I don't give a shit about hats'). Calling people out publicly starts to have some real consequence as their real-life friends and co-workers and employers see how they've been acting when they think they won't get caught. But on the other hand, that can easily turn into a lynching which is itself another form of this lack of respect for consequence.

            I think calling them out when and where it happens, and doing it consistently and regularly, might be the only real way to make a meaningful impact on the culture overall. Muting/ignoring them is the internet equivalent of catching a thief in your house and just gently showing them out your door so they can try the same shit on your next door neighbour. Sure, it benefits you right now, but it benefits only you, and only right now. Calling people out for their shitty behaviour might not stop them, but it might make them just a little less likely to do it next time. And if they get called out every time they do it, they might just decide exercising a bit of self-discipline is better for everyone involved, themselves included.

              And shit, I cut out an essential part while trying to trim it down. The reason I think consistent calling out of people's bad behaviour at the time it happens works (even if weakly and not all the time) is it creates an immediate association of 'action has consequence'. It's the same way you train a pet, and people aren't that different in the way we learn. We can be a lot more stubborn about it, but even for a lot of stubborn people, having the same 'action has consequence' reinforcement consistently and regularly eventually starts to guide behavioural change.

        Let's have two chat systems, one for the cesspool and another for the respectful gamers.

          Haha.

          "Would you categorise yourself as [A] Good Tempered or [B] Toxic?"

          "Thank you for selecting... Toxic... Placing you in-queue now!"

        Or... you'll find someone saying something really obnoxious, a lot of people calling them on it, and then a bunch of people yelling wHiTe KnIgHt/sJw/VaLuE sIgNaLlInG, seemingly as an attempted defence of, or distraction from, the original shitty behaviour - which is now largely unimportant as everyone turns to ideological mud slinging or trolling. Either way it's not great...

        "Well guess what? Online gaming is an utter cesspool. Leave voice chat on when you spawn in PUBG, or during a single match of CS:GO, and you'll confirm it. The solution? Play single-player games, mute your multiplayer games, and contact your favourite developers about including better reporting tools. And USE the damn things."

        You know what also helps?
        Publicly shaming people who participate in that behaviour. If nobody does this, nothing is going to change.

        The very first thing everyone should do when playing an online game is MUTE THE CHAT.
        Why should we have to do that? It is an integral feature to some games.
        I'm not kidding. I literally won't play any game with voice chat because it always, always has some ultra tool who has to call everyone else a f***** or **** or ****** every simple time they feel even slightly frustrated
        Oh right, that's why.
        I know what I'm in for when I can't turn voice chat off. To the extent that I won't purchase a game where it can't be turned off.
        Really going out of your way to avoid it.
        And yeah, it's definitely going to be worse for women. In the same way it is when women walk down the street. Or hell, even in the workplace. Pretty much do anything which isn't heavily policed (of course, the workplace isn't a great example, as there has been a lot of progress there over the last few years with increased oversight).
        That is true.
        But Christ-all-mighty.. you really upset the white knights today @simocrates. But I do get you're point. Unfortunately you won't find much interesting debate on Kotaku. Typically you'll find people would rather hoot and holler about how things "should be".

        Do you understand how stupid that comment sounds?
        You make so many comments about how people on live chat are ruining games for you, but then when people take a stand against it you call them white nights?
        People are trying to change other peoples attitudes and put some accountability on those people and that is a bad thing for you?
        I am sorry if you are happy putting yourself out and burying your head in the sand as some sort of "solution", but some people don't want to have to loose features of games to get away from idiots.
        So rather than "holler and hoot" as you say and calling out these people, what's your solution? Oh that's right, pretending it isn't happening.
        I sincerely apologise on behalf of the "whitenights" that just want to play a game without having to listen to idiots sprouting crap all the time.

          I gave a solution. If you're going to use voice chat - REPORT poor behaviour. Otherwise, mute chat or play single player.
          Online gaming really is a toxic cesspool. A place where 14 year old boys and jobless degenerates can spew their filth.

          All you're doing is complaining.
          How do you suggest we fix the issue?

          Also, this isn't a dig.. but it's "white (k)night" and "l(o)se".

            This isn't a dig, but you didn't give that solution in your post.
            If you have been paying any attention to the gaming scene, you would have noticed that it's not really working.
            Stereotyping doesn't help either, firstly the average age of a gamer is in their 30's, so unless it is a massive proportion of overly developed 14 year olds (damn these kids have deep voices these days) and a nice random stab at the unemployed for I don't know what reason, probably a superiority complex.

            PS. Thanks for the grammar Nazi stuff, your intellect is so superior to mine and has rendered all my comments invalid. You can sleep well tonight, you one upped me, you are a God amongst men.

              OK. Here goes.

              I honestly believe bullying is a constant without a simple fix. SOME people, gender neutral, are just complete and utter turds. 1 in 10? Sure. 2 in 10? Maybe. Whatever the number is... some people just get their kicks bullying and being general dropkicks. IRL or online.

              Men and women are no different here. But the male style of bullying is uniquely suited to online video games. For example, I went to an all boys school. My wife went to an all girls school. We've swapped stories of bullying (either involving ourselves or others) and, while the style of bullying was very different, the effect was exactly the same.

              Why are people so surprised that online video games are like this but raaamped up 300%? My sarcastic "you seem like a cool guy" aside, you're probably a lovely person who has never said a mean word against anyone (?). But for every one of you, there's someone else who wants an outlet to express their frustrations. And what better place than a competitive online video game.

              Here's a solution:

              All online video games must be played on official servers. Official servers record EVERYTHING for 2 weeks. Cost of online video games are increased to cover increased server costs. In-game reporting tools allow users to timestamp moment of abuse, upon-which the publishers CM's can review (within 7 days) the footage and make a decision to permanently ban a user.
              There would be a review process, as this opens up users to be trolled by friends/siblings who have access to their mic.

              This solution obviously won't help free-to-play games. Or with games like CS:GO where trolls are known to make new Steam accounts and buy cheap G2A copies. But it will go some way. It's the sort of thing Blizzard could implement if they chose to.

              Now.. recording ALL footage and providing official servers for ALL regions, and then reviewing ALL in-game reports is going to take a significant amount of resources and manpower. This means money. So WE'LL end up paying for this. Think "Overwatch Prime".

              And that's the problem really. What do you think they will do? Go down this route... ramping up their own costs, and then deciding on a way to pass it on to the consumer? Or do you think they will just continue on as they always have? Maximising profit and putting up with complaints?

              That is why I turn off voice chat. I don't see anything changing in the near future, because I don't see any way it can. Those 1 or 2 in 10 toxic jerks will always be there. And the tools at our disposal will always be kinda neutered. So why bother?

              Note: Voice chat definitely has its place. I have a headset which I use for private chatrooms with friends or when playing Fortnite DUO etc. But public chatrooms? Yeah, no thanks.

                That's true, there is always going to be stupid people, it just comes down to how we go about solving it and as long as the dollars keep rolling in, industry has no reason to change.

      Why does this happen?

      This guy. This guy is why it happens.

    Yeah I was the GM of a wow guild and one of our best players was female. She preferred not to speak on chat because of the weird reactions she'd get previously. The second someone said something they were warned and if they pushed it, they were kicked.

    Why do some guys gotta be so terrible? It's pretty depressing to hear these stories and think "that could happened to my sister/daughter/girlfriend." Note: if you're a Port Power fan, those three things are usually one and the same.

      We're on the same page, with some minor differences.

      Verbal abuse of anyone - in this case it's women who play videogames, but we should apply the same to everyone in every situation - ought to be intolerable, instead of primarily empathising proximal relations. Yeah, it's bad if anyone you know is getting abused, but it's just as bad if it's a stranger.

      The other thing is 'some guys' doesn't cut it. Nowhere near enough people speak up when verbal abuse starts in a game. We can try to restrict the population of men who are being directly antisocial, but why should we be accepting of men whose silence supports the former? Standing by is terrible too.

      Men have benefited the most from the decades-long cultivation of the videogame environment. They don't get a free pass now that we've accepted things need to change.

      it's terrible this happening to women, but the abuse isn't specific to women or even voice chat.

      I can't even count the number of times I've been told, "you're Trash", " KYS" which for those who don't know (I didn't to begin with) is 'Kill YourSelf', and also, 'get cancer', or 'you're cancer'

      I've never spoke to any of these people over voice, and these comments come often from teammates because I miss a shot or block or whatever, or because I'm thrashing my opponent score wise.

      as someone who really enjoys the social aspect and doesn't mind a bit of trash talk, the above examples I think are extremely egregious. the amount of depression that exists in the world and in our hobby, why you would every tell someone to KYS I will simply never understand. and then I think most people have either had cancer or know someone who has had cancer, so why would you ever say that, over a game!

      I just shake my head at the sadness of these people and wish things were better.

    Shitty people will be shitty, it doesn't matter if you're gay, female, black or bad at video games.

      The "boys will be boys" mentality isn't going to fix the growing problem, though. Being a shitty person isn't something the rest of society should just have to accept. Having standards and expectations of people to simply be decent human beings to each other is exactly how we ensure the survival of our species and keep some sort of order in our world. It's actually a fairly basic and reasonable request of another person, too. Otherwise, if we resign ourselves to "shitty people will be shitty," we'll eventually find ourselves in a shit hole and wonder how we got there with no means of escape.

        I feel like the second part of my sentence hopefully contextualised the former part in the vein of how it's low-hanging fruit to smear this as a sexist affront when it's "shitty people being shitty".

        Like, people will be arseholes, but I don't like when the attention focuses more on the way they're being an arsehole. So for this situation, the difference being "These people are being jerks" and "these people are being jerks because I'm a girl".

          I think I disagree with that, I've found people are better at changing their shitty habits when they're explicitly called out.

          If you to say to someone "you're a shitty person who does shitty things", they're unlikely to change or even really evaluate their actions. If you say "I recorded you saying 'I hope you die' to me online, that was a shitty thing to do", they're more likely to accept that point and become slightly less shitty in the future.

    I’m constantly disappointed in members of my gender over behaviours and attitudes such as those displayed here. She was dead right about the whole “Why can’t I find a girl who plays games?” and “But I’m such a good dude!” arguments. You are not a good dude. You are a beta male sexist who will diminish another human based on their gender when the right group scenario presents itself.

      You are a beta male sexist who will diminish another human based on their gender when the right group scenario presents itself. Do you feel like this conclusion is at odds with the premise?

      I appreciate the point you're making, but it's worth noting that the whole alpha/beta thing doesn't exist in humans. The term was originally introduced in scientific terms to refer to primate behaviour, specifically as a feature that exists in primates but not in humans.

      There's plenty of scientific material debunking the notion of alpha humans (even the concept of alpha wolves is basically debunked at this point), but I think British neuroscientist and comedian Dr. Dean Burnett says it best: "Maybe the supposed human alpha male is a combination of disgruntled male wish fulfilment and borderline-pseudoscientific justification for resorting to bullying, intimidation and generally all-round unpleasant behaviour by men hoping to impose their will on a world they find too complex and unnerving so revert to their baser instincts to get what they want, despite knowing deep down they don’t deserve it and shouldn’t have it?"

        I think he's more referring to the notion that, regardless of whether alpha/beta exists amongst humans or not, the mentality that one perceives themselves as above another certainly does; we simply coin the notion as one being alpha or beta male and *that* is the thought process @scrumptatoes is questioning as being contrary to the premise of this discussion.

        As in, @superdeadlyninjabees commented "you will diminish others" but then promptly diminished the person we was responding to by suggesting the notion that they're a beta male/human.

        Last edited 03/06/18 9:28 pm

          That's largely my point as well. The notion has no real scientific basis, it just ends up being used to either claim superiority or insult a perceived inferior. My comment was more trying to appeal to the idea of just dropping use of the terms altogether.

          Yeah, man. Men who fall into pack mentality behavioural to attack women are shit. They are worth less than other males that raise the bar. I do believe that.

        Yeah, I to say that the people I know that self identify as alpha females or males are using it as an excuse for their being douchebag assholes.

      "I’m constantly disappointed in members of my gender"

      You dropped your fedora, mate.

        As fedora as it sounds, he's right. Look at who is being a complete shitcake online and you're inevitably going to see dudes.

    I find it a shame this is where online gaming has gone. I used to play WoW a lot around the BC/WoLK days and had my own guild. Had a couple of occasions where we had drop-ins to a raid run and often they'd be young and/or females new to the game, and a little shy on the mic. It was really cool to help them understand the mechanics and bolster their confidence, and satisfying to hear the happy and grateful voice at the end of the night signing off.

    And now its "go kill yourself". Way to go, Internet. This is why people can't have pretty things.

      Oh please, no it's not. There are plenty of good people out there just like there are plenty of trolls and dickheads.

    "[K]now that the words I used were meaningless and have no substance."This just boggles my mind and makes me wonder if the apology was even sincere. It's bad to mean those things when you say them, it's even worse if you're just saying them mindlessly without even thinking about it. Saying things and then passing it off as "meaningless and without substance" is equivalent to putting "lol j/k" after vitriolic statements, it doesn't excuse anything.

      It is possible that he doesn't actually understand the weight that his comments have.

        Or he's a person getting emotionally overworked playing an energetic and aggravating video game and slight things are making him upset and he's lost his sort of "don't be an arsehole" filter.

          If you need a filter not to be an arsehole, doesn't that imply that you are an arsehole?

            it would suggest to me if there is normally a filter, that they are at least trying to change their default behaviour by not being like that. doesn't excuse the behaviour though and if the above scenario was true, its probably best he doesn't play.

      I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt when they're making an apology, and assume he simply meant that he didn't mean any of it.
      Hopefully he learns that even his 'meaningless' words still affect others and that he should be better in the future.

    Look at all these comments making it out like any time a girl talks a bunch of guys give her shit, when this is definitely not the case.

    White knights creeping out the wood-works here, "Oh gaming is so bad all guys online are jerks to girls wah wah".

    Keep basing your opinions on over-reaching articles you see on gossip news websites.
    Been gaming all my life, spent weeks worth of time in several online games, including MMOs and like the girl in the article I've played Siege, almost 400 hours worth, and I've yet to encounter people who would explicitly target you over specific things like "you were a girl".

    I've however ran into a lot of people who would be an arsehole. Doesn't matter when it comes to anything about you, really, they'd be okay with you but once you piss them off everything becomes a weapon. I've been told to kill myself just because I told a guy to take the game less seriously whilst playing it at midnight and beyond, if I was a girl I'm sure he'd have worked it in there somewhere.

      I managed to reach a personal best and expose all the fedora wearing commenters. Irony of the article.

      It doesn't have to be ubiquitous to be a problem. Intentionally or not, "it's not that big a deal" diminishes the problem and any effort spent on eliminating the problem by implying that effort is wasteful.

      It's not unreasonable to acknowledge that this is something you're just not in a position to see as often as women are. For whatever fraction of games you're in with women, they're in games with a woman (themselves) every time. So here we've got a woman with more and first-hand experience describing the problem, why it's a problem, providing evidence of the problem; it just seems to me that the better thing for us to do here is listen and try to help find a way to stop it happening, not to try to diminish the experience she's had and the message she's trying to convey.

        It is unreasonable for some, because they feel sidelined when other peoples problems take a centre stage over theirs, it is unfair to some when others get attention and not themselves.
        As he states, he has dealt with it all the time, so obviously if he can, every one else should be able to.
        You can see from his gaming stats that he added for credibility that he should know better than any one else what online gaming is like, even though he has only seen it through his perspective and not that of a minority or marginalised group, but the topic of the article has not happened to himself so it isn't a real problem.
        Then by adding if he was a girl he would have worked that in, showing a lack of respect for the issue, whether by ignorance or willfulness of the subject.

      You know how I know you haven't played that much Siege?

      Because I play it with my fiance, and she gets this toxicity regularly.

      As does any other girl who DARES speak in voice chat.

      But then again, given your commentary on pretty much every-gender related article on here, I think the most charitable reading is that you have a hearing issue that prevents you from perceiving gender-based abuse.

      Because that's better than the alternative, which is that you know perfectly well what's going on but are doing your best to defend it.

    Wow, this is just mental.
    Seriously.

    How, and why is it so damn difficult just to be a genuine and civilised person to another person.

    We have such amazing technology, that we all love and cherish, which connects us all together. A couple that with being arguably the best time to be alive in the history of the world.
    I really struggle to comprehend, so much so, very confident I’m getting an aneurism right now.

    Two nights ago I was playing competitive Overwatch, and the team were doing really well. We had in-particular this really awesome Zenyatta who got some clutch kills and ults, even though they weren't in chat I would just compliment their play. This person then eventually joined chat, and she started helping with call-outs too.

    About an hour later I got a message from her thanking me, saying that she normally doesn't join voice chat but she was grateful for the positivity in the game.

    At first I felt good about myself for helping someone to feel more welcome, but then I kinda felt awful that people (and Females in particular) are scared to engage in what can be a wonderful community on the basis of these really bad experiences. I think we can do a lot more as a community to be inclusive, and I think a big part of that comes down to how we talk to each other online.

      This is a cool story. I used to have sessions like this in TF2 years back. It's always nice to know you've been able to help someone feel welcome in the community.

      I have one complaint, though: Females. Female humans are women. It wouldn't even really be a problem, but referring to women as "Females" is specifically done by redpill shitlords to dehumanise them. I don't think you were doing that. I'm just pointing it out.

    multiplayer has always has some toxic aspects but is this the worst generation of asshats yet? Young, self entitled, over privilaged males who just expect this is the way of the world? i dont remember it being this bad.

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