Bullying and harassment in the gaming community are plagues that continue to spread throughout the gaming community. While both men and women are victims of bullying, women are more likely to be sexually harassed, threatened with rape or other forms of sexual violence. While developers and social platforms are finally beginning to address the issues of online harassment, there is still more to be done.
I recently played Overwatch and stayed teamed up with a few guy players after we wiped the floor with the opposing team. We began talking in on Blizzard's voice chat. When we got into the next match, one of the guys, a 13 year old boy, on our team became angry at another player who had admitted to being new to the game. The 13 year old proceeded to call the new player bad, berating her. Before I could even say anything, our teammate jumped in to correct his behavior. "Yo! We're not having that toxic shit on our team. Everyone starts out not playing that well. There's no need for name calling, man." And you know what? That kid apologized! But of the many times I've witnessed such bad behavior, that was the very first time I was witness to a man stepping in to correct another guy's bad behavior online.
But of the many times I've witnessed such bad behavior, that was the very first time I was witness to a man stepping in to correct another guy's bad behavior online. Even when I had joined a CS:GO game to play with my so-called friend. I hadn't played CS:GO before but my friend wanted me to play with him. Almost immediately, I'm asking my friend questions and one of the guys in voice said "Must be a girl." Another guy chimed in "Yeah, probably a n*gger girl." The other guys laughed. My "friend" who was streaming was passive and just said "come on guys, that's not nice." I left the game, not only disappointed with those toxic, racist fucks, but in my so called friend. I haven't been able to play with him since. By being passive, we allow people to think this behavior is okay. And it's not okay!
That wasn't the first time nor the last that I've encountered racism and sexism while gaming online. As a Twitch streamer, I've been told to "show me your n*gger tits" and "wow a n*gger trying to play video games" and "another game whore". This has to stop.
This why I and many other women gamers are taking a stand with Bully Hunters. We're tired of being told to "Just ignore it," which ultimately allows the harassers to just go and do it to someone else. We're tired of being told to "get over it". We're tired of being expected to be passive and not fight back because of the detriment it has done to other women who have stood up for themselves only to receive incredible backlash. We're tired of our supposed guy friends not having our backs. We're tired of guys not checking their bros when they exhibit abusive behavior toward anyone.
Though we're not sure what we will see at the unveiling of Bully Hunters, their mission of standing up for others is one we can get behind.
Will you join us at Bully Hunter's Facebook Event on April 12, 2018 @ 7:00PM EST?