An Open Letter to Game Developers

Trigger Warning: strong, derogatory language. All language consists of quotes from another gamer. Please proceed with caution.

Dear Game Developers,

I am coming to you guys as a owner of many games across many mediums. I have been a PC, console and handheld gamer since my parents got me a Nintendo 64 and Game Boy for Christmas. So I’m coming to you as a fan, not an unknowable advocate.

news-graphics-2008-_438896aAnd I’m begging you all to figure out a way to stop bullying in online video games.

Let me explain. A couple days ago, I was playing Grand Theft Auto Online. In the session I was in, I was listening to a boy, maybe in his early teens, mercilessly attacking another boy, also in his teens. The victim was trying to sell a car to make enough money for another car, and asked the rest of the lobby to help if possible by leaving him alone. While he did have Passive Mode on, he could still be blown up while in the car.

So I thought, “he was nice enough to ask, I’ll leave him alone.” But in the back of my mind, I just knew someone would grief the hell out of the kid. It happened to be another kid.

GTAO640imageThe griefer proceeded to begin tailing the victim’s car and pelting it with a sticky bomb to blow it up. Sad, the victim asked, “Hey man. Can you just leave me alone so I can do this? Everyone else is.”

The griefer’s response? “Fuck you fag. I’ll fuck you up all day. You ain’t going to do shit. Fucking pussy.”

It didn’t end there. The griefer continued throwing every homophobic insult he could at the victim, causing the kid to cry. Eventually, the victim left, but not until he absolutely lost his composure.

pandamageroarI filed a complaint for abuse against the gamer, but those rarely deter griefing. Back during my World of Warcraft days, griefing was considered part of the gameplay. Fair PvP fights on a PvP server was rare, and trying to level up a character in this environment was almost impossible. I actually quit WoW my first time because of this. At fifteen, I could not deal with that kind of abuse in my home, my safe place.

So I am making a plea to game developers to work on this. There is a difference between smack-talk among friends and complete verbal abuse by a stranger who will receive no repercussions as a result.

With such a big push today to combat bullying, cyberbullying still has the ability to be lethal. As gamers, some of us know the sting of bullying. We should be the safe house for those bullied, not the tipping point.

1 thought on “An Open Letter to Game Developers

  1. It drives certain people crazy when your polite to them, after you beat them up in pvp and they go swear crazy. But I have noticed that this happens less on rp servers for some reason the players seem more restraint.

Comments are closed.