Video Game News Subreddit Closes For 24 Hours To Protest Bigotry

Last night, /r/Games, a subreddit with 1.7 million subscribers, announced it would be closing on April Fool’s Day to shed light on the bigotry in the online gaming community.

“Not April Fool’s,” the post begins. It continues:

“This April Fool’s, we decided to take things a little more seriously and shed some light on a growing, pervasive issue that has affected the community of r/Games and gaming communities as a whole...Though certain memes (such as “gamers rise up”) surrounding gaming are largely viewed as a humorous interpretation of a mindset, at the core of the humour is a set of very serious issues that affect all gaming enthusiasts.

By showing disdain or outright rejecting minority and marginalized communities, we become more insular. In this, we lose out on the chance to not only show compassion to these people, but also the chance to grow our own community and diversify the demographics of those involved in it. Whether it’s misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, racism or a host of other discriminatory practices, now is the time to stymie the flow of regressive ideas and prevent them from ever becoming the norm.”

At the end of the post, after noting that bigoted language in /r/Games is “not an infrequent occurrence” and citing several instances of transphobia, homophobia, islamophobia, and misogyny, the moderators call on users to celebrate the diversity of others’ backgrounds.

Then, listing several charities for LGBT+ individuals, people of colour, and women, the moderators say, “this April Fool’s, we’re also asking you to take into consideration the idea of helping these organisations out.”

There is a lot of support for the subreddit’s move on Twitter and gaming forums like ResetEra.com. One user acknowledged that “I am not a fan of that subreddit but I am really impressed that they took a stand like this.”

On Twitter, one user said, “And this day filled with jokes, its [sic] nice to see something serious and heartwarming.” Others reacted negatively, referring to the move as “virtue signalling” or “going full blue pilled and cringe.”

Kotaku reached out to the /r/Games moderators last night asking them to explain their decision, the timing of the post, and whether they’ve reflected on how their own moderation tactics played into the subreddit’s culture.

One moderator responded to say that “This is not something we have done for publicity. We believe the post itself presents the combined thoughts of the moderator team and we have no further comment at this time.” They added that moderators will be answering the community’s questions in a meta thread this evening. The subreddit remains closed as of this post’s initial publication.


Comments

    To be frank, the r/Games moderators are crap at stamping out this stuff. This move is just to pat themselves on the back to seem like they are doing something. There moderator style of "slash and burn" has directly lead to this type of behaviour becoming more prominent in the subreddit.

    It you've visited the subreddit enough, you'll know that their common tactic is to just to delete. So users just see [deleted] wastelands of comment chains without any explanation of why the moderation team did that. If they took the time to explain to the community why they removed posts (like many other, better moderated subreddit do) they wouldn't have this problem.

    It's also because their subreddit rules are bananas with all amounts of contraindications that limit having discussions on anyrhing but official news.

      It really isnt hard to work out why certain things have been deleted (if you saw the original comments) but it actually requires people to realise what they think is 'right' may not always be acceptable. These days that really doesnt happen, so many people are far more concerned the way they see things as being justified and everyone else is being toxic, irrational, or snowflakes blah blah. They never stop to think that the person they are having a go at, feels just as justified and to them they are the irrational ones.

    Oh... r/Games and r/gaming are two different subreddits.

    There has been some toxicity, but r/games is actually quite mature considering it is the internet. Even threads I would usually consider bait threads for trolls like the "Bloodlines 2 is aiming to be more political" thread had a lot of mature discourse with the expected trolls getting downvoted before deletion.

    This is not something we have done for publicity.

    Bwahahahahaha, what a crock!

    This is the equivalent of a child holding his or her breath in the hope of getting his or her own way. It's laughable and it doesn't work.

      If they'd done literally anything else additional to promote their stand, and had they offered detailed responses to requests for interview, you might have had a point. As it is though, your post does nothing other than demonstrate your own cynicism.

      Seriously, not everything is about self promotion, and in the absence of any actual evidence to the contrary, give people some credit for not being dicks.

        /r/Games is closed for April Fool's. Find out why in here!

        That's a click-bait title if ever I saw one. Forgive my cynicism ~

          You have to see though. Reason number 9 will amaze you!

          They literally can't fit the body of text in the title...

          Also again they didn't cross promote and it was only on their subreddit and by focusing on this even if they were promoting themselves, who cares when it is just a subreddit. Focus on the goodwill and try to not be so cynical and dismiss the core message and intent

      In this simile, what is the "way" they are hoping to get and from whom?

    Whether it’s a joke, a joke, a joke, a joke or a host of other jokes, now is the time to stymie the flow of snowflake ideas and prevent them from ever becoming fun.

      Nothing more snowflake than incels whining bout how poor and victimised they are because nobody let's them be bigots.
      Whenever anybody stands up to them the first thing they do is form a cry-huddle and complain about how they can't handle it anymore.

        kewl stand up to me let see who crying. i dont not think that word means what you think it mean"bigot" try again, use a dictionary this time, you got shit backwards little man, i love your virgain shaming aby the way itch almost 30% world is moron. not that i am one of those, who or what are you staning up for are the 7% of people who think that way, and these are not fact pull from my ass there very easly google-able. you a snokeflake becuase you fall like one when fact have been use, no other reason.

    So the FB team captioned this with "It's a nice gesture, but it won't work." I was expecting there to be something of the sort in the article. But nope. Just totally unrelated and unsubstantiated.

      Well, here's my take.
      The people who make these jokes and use /r/games probably would only be annoyed at this particular attempt to change their ways, since it's impeding their use of their subreddit.

      If you wanted to get a drink and you went to your fridge, but instead I'm blocking the way and I say "hey man, maybe you should think about this thing you historically don't seem to care about" your reaction would be less "you're right, I should think about that" and more "fuck off, I'm thirsty!"
      Well, maybe not YOUR reaction, but most likely the people who that message is targeted towards.

    Surprised there was any room for "bigotry" between all the EA bad, CDPR good posts. Unsubbing from that cesspool of circle jerking was the best thing I did on Reddit.

    You want to know whats awkward?

    Members of the r/games moderation team went onto other subreddits to openly talk shit about the people on r/games and then openly wished that some gamers were dead due to their opinions. Sounds pretty bigoted to me. Seems the r/games moderation team can't keep to their own message.

    https://twitter.com/mombot/status/1113002721437597696

    So it's a propaganda post asking people to donate money to people because they're what? gay? black? seems like something that really doesn't need to be there. honestly having looked at the full post, an number of the example of hate and bigotry were also very mild. as in probably wouldn't offend anyone except those looking to be offended.

    All I can think is that the subreddit probably just shot themselves in the foot and drove people away. thing is, the ones driven away probably weren't the ones they wanted to get rid of.

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