Fallout 76 Players Banned For Life After Saying They Plan To 'Eliminate All Gays'

Screenshot: Bethesda, Fallout 76

Bethesda has banned a group of Fallout 76 players for life after they launched a homophobic attack on others in the game. "We have come to eliminate all gays," players can be heard saying in a video of the incident.

As reported by Eurogamer, the incident, which originally took place a couple weeks ago, lasted about 10 minutes and consisted of one group of Fallout 76 players taunting and harassing another group using homophobic slurs over proximity chat while trying to hunt them down.

Fallout 76 is an online game where players coexist on a single map and are able to team-up, trade, or in this case virtually recreate hate crimes.

One of the victims, AJ, recorded video of the encounter and shared it on Twitter in an attempt to get the maker of the game, Bethesda, to take note of the incident and punish the players involved. "I'm calling bully hunters," someone can be heard saying in the video, to which one of the attackers responds, "Bully hunters? You're gonna have to call better than that, we're the gay eliminators."

The same person can later be heard saying, "We're cleansing the wasteland," while another repeatedly refers to AJ's group as "faggots," while laughing throughout the entire thing. Eventually they managed to kill AJ's character. NathanTheHicc, one of the attackers, later uploaded his own footage of the incident to YouTube under the title "Cleansing the Queers."

Bethesda, who did not return a request for comment by Kotaku, told Eurogamer that it had initially instituted a three-day ban against the offending players after AJ shared the footage with them. However, after reviewing the incident further, the publisher decided to ban the players for life instead.

One of those players, NathanTheHicc, told Eurogamer that he doesn't regret role-playing a hate crime in the game and wouldn't apologise if given the chance. "It was just a late night of having fun and after the first encounter (seen on my channel) we felt it would be fun to offend them somehow," he said. "You can call that evil but I think it's just playful immaturity."

Meanwhile AJ told the website that he and his friends found the entire episode shocking and disgusting. He continued:

"I got really angry too. These guys were running around targeting people and what if they targeted a kid playing that was struggling with their identity? What if they said all those things to someone that was playing solo and didn't have anyone to talk to? That can really mess someone up. Playing a game to escape reality and then that happens. That's why we need to be able to report these people and why companies need to do something about reports."

While players in Fallout 76 can block one another, there's no in-game report feature. Short of sharing footage on social media or going to the press, there appear to be few ways to alert Bethesda about incidents like this and help prevent them from happening again in the future.


Comments

    I don't get why people don't just mute crap as soon as they hear it.

      Sticking your fingers in your ears doesn't solve the problem, it just pushes it onto someone else. This stuff is clearly against the rules, in the absence of a report feature recording it is the next best thing to get something done about it.

        Yeah I get you, but I'm not talking about reporting someone. Which is obviously a glaring issue that in 2018 is a strange omission of a feature.
        I'm just saying that copping this verbal nonsense doesn't have to happen if they simply mute.

        I see it in online games all the time, people just sit there and either take it like a bitch or bother to argue with someone and waste their own energy, time and enjoyment... When the mute button is *right there*.
        I honestly dont get it.

          they don't mute because you can't be a victim of a shitload of abuse if you mute after 4 seconds, you have to let it go on as long as possible. To be clear before you all lose your minds at me i'm not defending what these titheads did.

          The excuse i was just role-playing a villain i can get behind it would be hypocritical to only allow people to role-play as saints, normally i would not support a life time ban unless they are harassing the same people over and over however this mental giant offered the excuse i'm just Role-playing in this FPS game, personally I think the lifetime ban should be for calling fallout 76 a role-playing game.

        Agree. It’s great that Bethesda took action.
        But how does banning for life work exactly? Can’t they just make another account? It would be interesting if companies could ban people based on their real names and payment information.
        The excuses that guy used are the typical rhetoric thrown around by bullies: “dude, it was only a joke” etc etc.
        Pathetic losers like this are everywhere on the internet, but that doesn’t mean we accept the status quo. I want to see real punishments for online disseminating of hate. Some progres has been made around stuff like doxxing and swatting, it’s just harder to punish when it’s something no less obnoxious but doesn’t fall under the banner of a crime in the eyes of the law.

          Are you saying you think these guys deserve jail...... wow
          if that is not what u meant then ignore the rest of this post.

          I get your pissed off but this is not equivalent to swatting or doxxing, try muting and ignoring SWAT when they kick your door in.

          To be perfectly honest anyone who wants to criminalise speech is untrustworthy, although in this particular case it's not just speech they hunted him down albeit ingame, i can't help thinking that has to be psychologically different to just hearing the words so i'm calling grey area :S

          EDIT: i read below that you can't mute individuals only everyone... this game is trashfire don't play it period they cant even get simple shit like that right jesus christ we need a barrier so games this shit never get released to begin with. i say unban they guy it's bethesda's fault that guy had to endure this bullshit in the first place

          Last edited 01/12/18 2:02 pm

      You're not wrong and I think a lot of people are thin skinned now, but I do understand what they saying regarding conflicted kids and being exposed to that. If it is against the rules then it should be shut down as soon as its brought to light. People escape what worries them in the real world by playing games, they should feel like they are free from discrimination against race, gender or religion in that world.

      That said I think a certain amount of trolling in online games, especially games like Fallout 76 or ARK is to be expected, in fact, encouraged when done right.

      By that I mean play an opposing faction, say your a "trade rival" or that your "gathering people for the protection of the wasteland" or something.

      I remember when Wrath of the Lich King was coming out for WoW, the pre-event had players turning into zombies that they could control to fight other players. My friend who played a priest and myself (a paladin at the time) were casting cure disease and /yell ing "Be cleansed Brother/Sister, I reclaim your soul for God" . HAHAHA got so many angry whispers like "LEAVE US ALONE, WE WANT TO BE ZOMBIES" but we were just playing the role HAHA.

      Last edited 01/12/18 9:40 am

        I remember when Wrath of the Lich King was coming out for WoW, the pre-event had players turning into zombies that they could control to fight other players. My friend who played a priest and myself (a paladin at the time) were casting cure disease and /yell ing "Be cleansed Brother/Sister, I reclaim your soul for God" . HAHAHA got so many angry whispers like "LEAVE US ALONE, WE WANT TO BE ZOMBIES" but we were just playing the role HAHA.

        If you were playing on an RP server id agree with you. Any other server though and you're just being an arsehole.

      Because there is no way to mute individual players without muting all other players, and since he was in a group in a game with no text chat he would have no way of communicating with the other person/ppl in his team?

        Was supposed to be a reply to lemonmules first post

        This is true. Why should someone have to mute everything because of a minority of scum bags?

        I didnt realise that the tools from Bethesda are so shit.
        Wow that actually surprises me there isn't an individual mute.
        They made a game centred around being online, yet haven't made the basic features of an online game.

          There is a Mute option when you right click on a person in the list, I've never used it myself but I assume it just mutes them individually.

            ????

              In the social menu, when you right click on an entry you get this menu, which has both a mute and a block for session that will also hide your dot from them on the map.

            Can confirm. I've muted friends accidentally so many times.

            There is also a Block option.

      There is only so far the mute button can go.

      If one is abrasive then it makes sense to use the mute button. For example, frequently dropping F and C bombs does wear thin.

      If one is making threats of harm, then one is allowed to report. Contrary to popular believe, something being online does not make it disjoint from real world rules and norms.

      If players go further and actually target someone (in this case, hunting homosexuals), then that is still reportable.

      The group in question was expressing a hateful ideology and it is just as unacceptable online as in the real world.

      And they were acting on it and hunting these players down.

      Granted, one who gets a life time ban will just make another account. But reporting it makes it clear regardless said behaviour is unacceptable.

      In the end, the mute button will stop the audio. But that doesn't stop the keyboard and mouse from functioning.

        Yeah I fully agree with you.
        I think I'm not conveying myself well.
        I think you should be able to report and get rid of the absolute rubbish people spew online.
        The other part is people need to mute this crap.
        Like ages ago when I used to play overwatch, people would regularly get baited and feelings hurt etc from voice chat or text in ranked matches.
        But they'd sit there and cop it the whole game.. But like I said. The mute is right there.

        This racist and homophobic stuff over a public chat should definitely get you a suspension from playing online and be reported.

          I saw what you said. To me your statement was an over simplification.

          This recent event was well beyond what the mute button could do (even if it was implemented correctly in the first place).

          While there is truth to what you said, the context doesn't fit in this case. Even if muted early one (assuming they didn't) would most likely not have changed the outcome.

          The aggressors here, they had already decided. Even if they were not heard, they were going to hunt anyway.

            assuming that PvP is allowed in FO76.

            I think that this is all about the lack of mute function if he was able to mute these fools it goes from being a "hate crime" to just some normal everyday PvP no ban required. i wonder if that would be worse because then you wouldn't know what these guys are like.

            I wonder if the guy in question is gay i don't think that was clear either but it too woiuld completely change how i view this encounter.

              I wonder if the guy in question is gay i don't think that was clear either but it too woiuld completely change how i view this encounter.

              So as long as a person is not black im free to use the "N" word?

                not what i said and you know it

                i would change my perspective to be more empathetic with the victim, "change my view" of the encounter, his sexuality changes nothing accept how i empathise.

                also the word nigger has worked it's way into my vocabulary put there by african americans in cinema i do use the word although i would strive never to use it in conversation with a black person i didn't know. just in case you were curious

                Last edited 08/12/18 4:13 pm

            If there was a mute button would have stopped the audio of the players in question. There would have been no reason to stop the mouse and keyboard as it's apart of the game this is how PVP is built into the game.

            There is a duel mechanic to PVP. Either a player accepts it by attacking back or they don't. Players have the ability to kill other players without them accepting the duel challenge

            Nothing done in this article is outside of the intended design of the game.

            Their intent was to grief players while being insulting. You take away them being insulting and you are left them doing PVP hunting down players in a grief manner as is the design of the game which if I recall correctly was mentioned at E3.

            If all of the run ins with Goon Squad I've had in many online games has taught me anything it's that if there is a way to grief players. People will use it to their hearts content.

            Last edited 02/12/18 12:45 am

          sorry your wrong simply saying something homophobic or racist in chat or over voice should not be a ban worthy offence unless your doing it often, do not conflate this harassment incident as being the same as someone just typing out "faggot" in global chat. It is completely different context and intent.

            There's just no need for the word at all. There's no reason for it to be used in a global chat in any context. It's associated with being a hurtful slur, and that's usually how you see it used.

            Last edited 01/12/18 8:07 pm

              dickhead is also hurtful your problem is you think that because its homophobic it is somehow worse as an insult which it isn't, these people weren't banned for saying faggot either they were banned for the harassment because they hunted him down and spent an inordinate amount of that time abusing him.

              if we use your logic that faggot is just somehow worse, then anyone should be allowed to do this same thing as long as they don't use any homophobic abuse which is stupid.

              "There's just no need for the word at all" yes there is a need for the word it is used as a generic insult and can be used to communicate a myriad of things, i would argue rarest of all of those things is a disdain for homosexuals.

              Everybody including the ppl in this thread know full well that this word is rarely used to specifically disparage homosexuals so just stop your bullshit.

              Last edited 08/12/18 4:18 pm

      also muting them doesn't stop them sending you messages, posting it in the public chat, etc.
      Muting doesn't eliminate the problem.

        I wasn't aware there was a public chat / private messaging functionality?

          oh I wasn't speaking specially of Fallout 76, just online games in general

            actually in an online game if the person you mute/block starts messaging you or makes another char to get around your block that counts as harassment and you then report them

      Yep another article of a publisher overreacting to an easily solved issue. I wish special snowflakes wouldn't make a big deal out of nothing.

      I think you need to read the article again, bud.

      These guys didn't talk shit and leave, they actively started harassing and gunning down the victims.

    Now that's what this is all about... Removing harassment from gaming.

    Welp, they made a news article now. They have been published and empowered via Kotaku article and can now have access to like-minded individuals who will no doubt ape this behaviour based on their "God doesn't accept gays, so I'm doing the right thing" mentality that is farm more widespread in Western society than we acknowledge because we have to accept religious beliefs in the same capacity as sexuality despite the religious one being a haven of de-humanising convictions that are inflicted upon others.

      Western society/religion does not have a "widespread" problem with homosexuality it is in fact an ever shrinking minority, you want to see widespread homophobia look east. That being said i don't think the "we aren't the worst" is a good argument.

      Also the behavior documented above may have nothing to do with these people's actual beliefs. We all know that making homophobic jokes or using the word faggot are not things only homophobes can do.

      And yes you do have to respect peoples religions we even have to allow people to have religious beliefs like "homosexuals are sub human", you cannot police peoples thoughts and beliefs, if u can find anyone who believes this you can ban them from the video game along with the stupid edgelords from above. i only responded to your post because it was full of inaccurate virtue signaling.

        People are free to hold religious beliefs.

        They aren't entitled to act on all those beliefs.

        Religious loons are free to believe in fairy tales that tell them homosexuals are bad. But the minute they try to act on those beliefs and discriminate against someone because of their sexuality they should be stopped.

          why you downvote me then make a reply agreeing with what i said >_

          Last edited 08/12/18 3:37 pm

    Good. One of the first good decisions they have made recently. I dont want to hear that sort of rubbish in real life, I most certainty dont want to hear it in a computer game.

      are you saying it's worse to hear it online or you just resent hearing it online more?
      either way if you don't mind could you explain to me why it is you feel this way?
      i'm just curious

        Both.

        Because i live and work around gay people and have done for decades. I know first hand the real harm homophobic rubbish brings and see this sort of pathetic rubbish every day.

        Not sure what is worse, people who believe these type of things or people who say these type of things to be 'funny' or 'hurtful' on purpose. Actually I think its the later, it takes a really sad type of people who knows what they are doing is terrible and still doing it for their own amusement or to make their friends laugh.

          i understand what your saying i have a gay friend myself and he didn't have a great time in high school

          i only didn't understand how it would be worse online than IRL i have thought about it since i asked you, is it because games are an escape so it's both more offensive to hear it online and also worse because it's infiltrating your escape time?

            As i said above. So much of it IRL is about people believing in the tolerance they are selling, whether it is based off religious reasons, or truly believing they are somehow subhuman. Ignorance and intolerance, sad as it sounds, makes sense. in a social setting they will always be challenged and put in their place. It is not acceptable in general.

            Where as the homophobia on show in gaming is normally about people trying to be edgy, trying to get a rise out out of others, they arent doing it because they believe it, they are doing if for no reason other to make their friends laugh. And far too often it never gets challenged by others witnessing it, very rarely do i hear others say "stop it" or "pull your head in". that annoys me so much.

            Yeah I know its probably not worse, but hearing it online, in some senses, makes me feel powerless. because far more seem to be willing to witness it and do nothing. It seemingly IS acceptable.

      Yup. Though I don't think I've ever played a game with voice chat which didn't include abrasive idiots.

      I played WoW for years, but gave up on voice chat waaay back in vanilla.

      First thing I do when I enter COD is mute all.

        I just disable in-game voice chat on any game.

        If i want to chat it will be through discord with friends.

        Not acoustic 12 year olds with parents who dont parent.

          acoustic? do you prefer electric children or did you misspell autistic?

    Tell me why online Fallout was a good idea again?

      Fallout and Elder Scrolls make for wonderful locations for online gaming.
      This version of it is just a horrible mess that should have been scrapped.
      I believe the problem is that Bethesda has resisted online / multiplayer gaming so hard for so long, that they really don't have the technical know how to do a good job.

      My scenario would be (specific to Fallout);

      + smaller population servers with either 8 to 16 players to allow a more engrossing multiplayer experience. This isn't Battlefield or COD, it doesn't need a large count of players per server. The servers could either be a small subset of official servers, or private servers.
      The server type determining the play style (PVE for those that like to build and work together in a seemingly co-op game, or PVP for those that want to raid other bases) Though I feel these games should be geared for PVP from the outset, I know people who have said I wish I could just play this with a friend.

      + NPCs and pre-formed towns. Now I know this is may not work specifically with FO76 given the time frames for games setting (look up Vault 76s wiki if you want to know more), but it would certainly work for other games.
      Quests could be handled in either an instanced mode or on a first served basis.
      Players (or groups / gangs / clans) could buy empty houses / buildings in towns and either use it as accommodation or set up shop for other players.

      + Reclamation of Buildings outside towns. Find an upright house you like? take it and fortify it. See that shiny Nuka Cola Factory? Make it your castle and basis for town.
      Empty buildings may have machines or amenities you can't fabricate or find in an NPC town. There are however greater risks. Reclaimed buildings are the targets of enemy ire, with monsters of increasing difficulty attacking your new acquisition based on the facility (eg, a small house may get the odd raider attack, a factory may be targeted by raiders or mutants. a military bunker may get deathclaws where a subway would have swarm of Feral Ghouls to contend with). Defense of these properties must be on going with defense systems or adequate NPCs as they can be attacked whenever, even when your offline
      Capturing a Factory for example may not be practical solo but a group of 4 may find it great where a clan of 8 may find a military bunker or subway station more their jam.

      + Own made settlements. Work as you would expect

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------

      Vault # has opened up, players can pick either a Vault Dweller (one spawn location) OR one of the non mutated humans left (a few different spawn locations)
      Vault Dwellers do have a slight advantage in terms of attributes from the outset (due to education etc) where the Wastelander would have the advantages of equipment / already started town or perks based on survival. This part of the game would have story element that encourages the player to explore an common area to acquire a component for their spawn points survival (eg. The vault is running low on power and a store of fusion bricks are needed to recharge it, while at the same location may be water needed for the wasteland community, or a rite of passage for another wastelander)

      Once there a gathering of NPCs are in a stand off, the wastelands meeting the vault dwellers for the first time and a series of quests start off. This introduces the different groups and can act as either the catalyst for hostilities (PVP) or friendly Co-operation (PVE).

      From there it would proceed like a Fallout game. Spreading to the towns and locales in the map.

    Ummm... so what's to stop them them from simply making new accounts and keep on playing?|

      $77.

      Thats if you buy the game pre-owned. And assuming Bethesda has not banned their IP.

    Just mute them, words can't hurt you.
    They may not be acting like adults but that doesn't mean you can't.

    if you're going to roleplay a hatecrime in a game at least let them kill you in a glorious fashion (that's the best part of those KKK encounters in red dead) or you know....don't do it

    Last edited 01/12/18 2:24 pm

    this is why I don't play online games anymore. After work I just wanna chill and get wrapped up in a cool game, not listen to a bunch of 12 year olds call me every name under the sun then shoot me in the back cos they don't like the color of my character's hair.
    singleplayer is the only way

      what colour was your characters hair i'm curious

    In my games 99% of people mute MIC, must be my region.

    AND being shocked when you find out people can be ultra toxic on the internet? LMAO, some people DO live in a very dense bubble!

      you in EU region? i hear that about EU

      you must have missed the part where this is a Bethesda game so its a dumpster fire of shit and you cant mute people individually, u can only mute all so then u cant hear the people ur playing with. i would have thought individual muting and maybe "mute all outside of my group" would have been standard things to include.

    Voice chat in video games is usually daft.

    There's a hardcore minority who enjoy it, but for the most of us it's just a toxic addition.

    It only makes sense for party chat. And even then I don't personally like it (unless it's with RL friends).

      It is either toxic idiots, or idiots who leave their dumpster quality microphones unmuted so you hear all sorts of fucking noise blaring from them constantly.

      I'm genuinely not sure which is worse to have to hear... They both make your ears bleed in different ways.

        All games should REQUIRE Push To Talk.

    How would they even find out who was homosexual? Did they have to ask beforehand? Did they just kill everyone assuming they were all gay?
    This is an obvious troll yeah? Banning for life seems a little hyperbolic, just ban them for a week and say "We are aware that you were just playing around but it does fall under hate-speech regardless of context so don't do it again" easy yeah?
    Banning for life gives them no path to redemption.

    This is so over-the-top that I can't take it seriously. It's like a cartoon or something.

    Crazy normally you just mute them.
    Disconnect reconnect.
    Create your own private chat and invite everyone but the troll.
    Strange days were it at school when your dad was gay and everyone was banging your mum, and those were the easiest days.
    I wonder if the perpetrator learned a lesson or whether this just helped him solidify his hate, who knows?
    Lot of delicate people creating glass echo chambers in the world, I don't think the internet is for them.
    Well that's my unpopular opinion for the day, see you on R6 siege where people team kill you because you are a new joining 5th person, you get verbally abused regularly and you just "DEAL WITH IT." Great game.

    I'm glad they took action with it, but there are so many reasons I haven't bothered playing an online game in ages. In a general sense, between microtransactions, server waiting times, losing connection with a server, the often grind-based play, the impermanence at the heart of the whole online experience, etc etc, I just find it's not worth dealing with all that just so I can get to dealing with other humans behaving like total dicks toward one other. I prefer to explore a big, offline world. It's just so much more rewarding. It's not making huge amounts of money for some company, but I like a story. I like to wander at my own pace and ignore the world for a while. Online gaming always seems to be the opposite of that. I did it for years, got some enjoyment out of it, but it just feels like wasted time, which is a funny thing to say when you're playing videogames, but by contrast, it feels like more of a waste.

    This is called a publicity stunt for a failing 3/10 game. I'm pretty damn gay and the only thing that eliminated me from Fallout 76 was its gameplay. It's nice to see Bethesda focusing on what matters, you know, not the hundreds of bugs, not the server disconnections, not the obvious cash grab $5 USD hairstyles. The homophobia! That's what matters!

    This is called free publicity and it's a bit disgusting. Fallout 76 is a joke of a game.

      You don't actually think the development team and the customer service team are the same people, right? You don't actually think taking a minute to ban someone is a minute robbed from fixing bugs? You're not that stupid, right?

        "You're not that stupid, right?" your adorably optimistic =D

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