More than 2,000 Developers Sign Letter Calling for the End of Intolerance, Hate Speech

by William D'Angelo, posted on 02 September 2014 / 5,225 Views

More than 2,000 developers from dozens of studios have signed an open letter to the gaming community asking for the end of intolerance seen on social media sites, YouTube and Twitch. The letter asks if anyone sees any threats to report them on the respective website.

"We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish."

"If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites."

"If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in."

The developers who have signed the open letter work for Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Electronic Arts, BioWare, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Blizzard, 2K, Apple, Epic, and dozens of others.

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A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. Outside, in the real world, he has a passion for the outdoors which includes everything from hiking to having received his B.A. in Environmental Studies. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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16 Comments

Zod95 (on 02 September 2014)

As gaming is concerned, I NEVER saw ANYBODY being threatened on ANY website. What the hell are they talking about?


jangelelcangry (on 02 September 2014)

I kinda agree with you.


  • +3
Trunkin (on 02 September 2014)

No offense, but you obviously haven't been looking. Granted, the majority of threats aren't serious, but still...
Also, I think we can all agree that hate speech abounds on most gaming related sites. People got no respect for their fellow man.


  • -1
WagnerPaiva (on 02 September 2014)

There is a rumor that a female dev named Zoe Quinn had sex with five people from Kotaky to promote her game. Rumor has it that after the thing went public, Kotaku created a lot of iniciatives to get their staff off the hook, including this anti-hate thing.


  • +3
Zod95 (on 02 September 2014)

Regarding the hate speech, I don't dispute that. What I've never seen and really wonder about are the threats.
For god sake, look at the first quote of this article. It seems they are talking about hooligans that will beat you up and threaten your family if they see you with another team's scarf.
What will gamers do to me if I say Xbox One is far better than PS4? Nothing, I suppose. How will they threaten me if I am behind a PC? No idea about that either.
I've been visiting gaming websites for 13 years and never saw a threat in my life. Either I got extremely lucky because there have been lots of them to the point that 2000 devs are protesting against it, or those guys are hallucinating big time.


  • +1
Zod95 (on 02 September 2014)

WagnerPaiva, thank you. Finally someone explaining what's going on.

So, because of one incident, the whole gaming community is getting a rebuke? How sad...


  • 0
MDMAlliance (on 02 September 2014)

So it looks like this is some of the background to what WagnerPaiva was talking about http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/quinnspiracy


  • +1
Zod95 (on 03 September 2014)

Thanks MDMAlliance. It seems to me it's just the gaming community scrutinizing the whole situation (as it is used to do with anything that concerns the gaming ecosystem).
I still don't know enough to tell whether the reactions were adequate or exaggerated but one thing I know for sure: if this kind of demanding attitude were to be seen on more serious subjects such as politics, there would be zero corruption and the world would be a much better place to live in.
I would sign a letter calling the gaming community to be seen as an example to follow.


  • 0
Yuseithestarknight (on 02 September 2014)

It´s not that the gaming community is hateful or sexist or whatever you would throw at them. The gaming community can smell bullshit from far away, we are not that stupid. The gaming community is not hateful, sexist, misogynistic, racist or whatever you social justice warriors/some feminists would say to it right now. The gaming community has been retaliating against the gaming "journalists" and many others for good reasons. Trying to ignore about one certain persons doings just tells us that there has to be something going on with the "journalists" and these certain people. I´m not trying to make this a hate mail or anything. What has this woman done to make the whole gaming journalists being silent about this at first and then attacking at the gaming community and developers making petitions like this?


HylianSwordsman (on 02 September 2014)

People are missing the point here. Of course the gaming community isn't racist or sexist or hateful or anything like that. If it was, there wouldn't BE a letter like this. However, there are remnants from a bygone era that exist within our lovely community, from the time when gaming was a child's pastime only. Combine that with the nature of the medium as being interactive, sometimes interpersonal, and when interpersonal, often anonymous, and you naturally have more internet trolls here than in any other medium. Those two things together give us a bad name and slow the mainstream adoption of the gaming medium. Therefore this letter. I don't think it'll do much though. But don't bash it like it's written by social justice warriors or something, because it's not. It's just the developers wanting to combat accusations of unprofessionalism of the gaming community, and it's in their best interest to attend to issues with our image, whether those image issues are warranted or not.


dsp333 (on 02 September 2014)

Well that'll show those nasty old racists/sexist/homophobes, a letter! Good lord these people are so far up their own asses. I wonder what would happen to a developer that refused to sign...


Skeetys (on 02 September 2014)

They want to stop trolls from trolling apparently. None of these threats from little teenage boys are real. I think everyone knows that by now. The internet has been around a long time.


irstupid (on 02 September 2014)

Good luck. People may be a perfect gentleman in real life, but put them on the internet anonymously and they are the most racist, pigheaded bigots the world has ever known.


Yuseithestarknight (on 02 September 2014)

Kinda funny that for some of these individuals are calling trolls the gaming community.


  • 0
garywood (on 03 September 2014)

Why does religion get the same kind of status as gender/sexuality/race? Those are immutable characteristics about a person. Religions are a set of beliefs. There's absolutely no similarity between the 2. We desperately need to stop giving religions this kind of privilege over every other kind of belief system.


JazzB1987 (on 02 September 2014)

#1 End the intolerance!... oh wait thats against freedom of expression nevermind then. #2 Women are strong! Women can stand up for themselves! They are no damsel in distress!... Oh wait we just prove the opposite because we "need" to protect them with a letter nevermind then. #3 Diversity is what makes our community flourish!... Oh wait we dont make games with female afro-american gay characters... nevermind then. All this is just a stupid PR crap I wish it would have substence but as it is right now its just hipocrisy.....


swii26 (on 02 September 2014)

It is kind of crazy the voice people have when they remain hidden behind their user names. I'm sure most people who post vicious comments don't act like that out in public.


Yafea (on 02 September 2014)

Don't feed the Internet trolls. They are giving them more exposure with thus kind of statements.


Nettles (on 04 September 2014)

what the heck is this crap


henrygyn (on 03 September 2014)

EA and 2K first need to end their own racism against Nintendo fans!


garywood (on 03 September 2014)

Why does religion get the same kind of status as gender/sexuality/race? Those are immutable characteristics about a person. Religions are a set of beliefs. There's absolutely no similarity between the 2. We desperately need to stop giving religions this kind of privilege over every other kind of belief system.


teamsilent13 (on 02 September 2014)

lol ??????


dsp333 (on 02 September 2014)

Well that'll show those nasty old racists/sexist/homophobes, a letter! Good lord these people are so far up their own asses. I wonder what would happen to a developer that refused to sign...


KLAMarine (on 02 September 2014)

Some of the worst people outside of hate groups that I've seen have been people in the gaming community. I don't see these kinds of people in the movie or music industry, I don't know what it is about the gaming industry...