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Harassment in gaming

Hussar

Legend
I'll grant you the last point, but really, use of "terrorism" seems a bit of fear mongering. I don't see how it is useful, either in the original,linked article, or here in discussion. We can get by with simply remarking that threats of violence, or actual violence, or actions intended to cause duress (shouting, lewd remarks, &etc) are sufficient to bring in trained security personnel, e.g., police or guards. I don't think that most untrained people should handle such circumstances, except to immediately mediate if possible. In case of an already committed act, I'd try to help, but really I don't think I'd be the right person to provide council to an assault victim.

But I'm not convinced that felony behavior is a greater concern in gaming activities. Consider the example from the linked article -- being slipped a drug and being raped. The circumstance was more akin to an underage woman going to an off campus mixer. That seems a very dangerous environment. And if the up thread discussion is a guide, it was a friend that committed the assault. I don't see the very terrible outcome being gaming specific.

Where there seems more to discuss is the more nuanced issue of "soft" harassment: An in game rape scene. Unwanted attention. General verbal harassment. These are matters which are more within the purview of a typical gamer, and coachable behavior.

Thx!
Tom B
Well, I guess it kind of boils down to why the harassment is occurring. I believe that most of it is done through ignorance, rather than straight up malicious intent. Someone telling dead baby jokes or commenting on someone's appearance. That sort of thing. The people aren't really deliberately trying to force others out of the game or the hobby, they're just ... well... stupid I guess is the best word here. Socially oblivious?

The problem, and where the notion of terrorism is coming from, is that so much of it is directed at women. From a woman's perspective, does it really matter if that guy (who, from demographics is almost always white) is just stupid or malicious? All that really matters is that guy is making someone uncomfortable to the point where they feel unwelcome. And it has to start feeling pretty pointed after a while.

I will freely admit that I've never faced the degree of harassment that people are talking about here, but, I did live in South Korea for about five years. I'm a 6'2" big white dude. Living in a country where immigration just isn't a thing. It's about as homogenous as you can possibly get. So, I lived with daily cat calls of people shouting "Hello! HELLO!" at me every single time I walked out the door. Yeah, it sounds stupid to complain about it, but, after years of unrelenting harassment like this (people would scream this at my back after I'd passed, from across the street, as I was driving by and they were walking - and not children, adults were doing this. Constantly, every single day, usually multiple times per day) I had to leave the country.

I started out really enjoying my time in Korea, but, by the time I left, I absolutely loathed the country. Went back for a quick trip years later and fifteen minutes after I got off the train in Pusan, someone screamed "hello" at me as I walked by. I'll never go back.

Never minding events like getting on a bus or train and every single conversation stops as the entire bus or train turns to stare at you until you get off. Constant total amazement that I could speak such a difficult language as Korean. Complete bafflement as to why I didn't hate the Japanese. So on and so forth.

So, I do have some idea what constant, relentless, never ending harassment feels like. It shocks me that more women don't go postal considering the crap they are putting up with.

Rolling this back around to the hobby, it's not like we've covered ourselves with glory. Game rules that are obviously sexist, art that is pretty targeted at men, and behaviour that is just brutal. I'm reminded of the Big Bang Theory episode where the girls go to a gaming store:

[video]https://youtu.be/I2Gghi6FObY[/video]

Now, it's played as a joke, and sure, it makes gamers look pretty bad. But, how inaccurate is it really? And, Stuart, the store owner, reacts exactly the way he should - he steps in and tells the guys in the store to back off and cool it. I wonder how many women in the hobby have faced something similar and a whole lot less funny.
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
So, it's a problem. What do we do?

- Ask store owners to post & enforce no harassment policies? Don't shop at stores that don't comply?
- Ask cons to post & enforce no harassment policies? Ask for video monitoring of all public spaces? Refuse to attend if they don't?
- Create & wear no harassment t-shirts?
- What about publishers?
- Online stores?
- Make a no harassment statement at the start of any public game that you GM? Ask your GM to do the same?
- "Man up" and intercede the next time someone steps out of line?
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
So, it's a problem. What do we do?

- Ask store owners to post & enforce no harassment policies? Don't shop at stores that don't comply?
- Ask cons to post & enforce no harassment policies? Ask for video monitoring of all public spaces? Refuse to attend if they don't?
- Create & wear no harassment t-shirts?
- What about publishers?
- Online stores?
- Make a no harassment statement at the start of any public game that you GM? Ask your GM to do the same?
- "Man up" and intercede the next time someone steps out of line?
I think a fair number of those are good ideas.

Stores and cons should have clearly posted and enforced anti-harassment policies, and cons could certainly benefit from greater video coverage to prevent gropings and other assaults/batteries from being he-said she-said affairs.

Informing players that you won't tolerate harassment at your table when you GM also sounds great.

Standing up for people who are being harassed also sounds good. I've previously mentioned that if a fellow player (male or female) thought I was being harassed and asked if I would like them to get someone in authority (or take me to someone in authority), I'd be cool with that. If I was able to handle it on my own, I could politely decline before cussing out my harasser(s). If I didn't feel I was able to handle it, or if I in fact felt threatened, then being taken to someone in authority would be nice. Also, I mentioned being willing to be a witness to what you witnessed, and telling the police or the people in authority at the con what you saw when a harassed gamer files a complaint.

I don't think t-shirts are necessary. But, if people want to wear them, I can't say it would turn me off.

I think publishers can help by making sure that the female characters in the game art are treated with the same level of dignity as the male characters. Also, if those publishers have organized play groups, then having and enforcing anti-harassment policies for those organizations is a good idea.
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
And IMHO- as well as others who have posted in this thread- the threats of rape, assault and death DO rise to the level of terrorism as designated by the writer in the title of the blog post that was the catalyst for this thread.
Threats such as those were illegal long before 'terroristic' became a buzzword. But we aren't entirely talking about just death threats, battery threats (technically, a threat is already assault, so...), or rape threats, are we? And the incidence of those is far, far lower than the incidence of harassment. The scope there shows that the word is being too broadly applied.

It is also a rhetorical sticking point for pushback.
If I understand your point, then the pushback should be against any kind of stereotyping or harassment. I'm pretty vehement about not tolerating harassment of anyone. I'm also very willing to admit that women are far more likely to suffer harassment than other groups (in gaming, and often in other venues), and that the reason for that is largely systemic and embedded in the group dynamics of the culture (in gaming, and in other venues). HOWEVER, that recognition and acceptance in no way means that I need to turn a blind eye to stereotyping others in pursuit of the goal of reducing harassment. It does mean that the level of acknowledgement is much less -- I won't be taking any concrete actions to stop people from using such stereotypes outside of saying that their unnecessary and counterproductive. I have and do take far more concrete steps to reduce harassment of women.

And that's my real problem -- the extremism that's gripped the political discussions in the US and the world has bled over into other problems. If I do not walk in ideological lockstep with the vocal group, I am part of the problem. I reject that, and I also reject many of the tenets of the current vocal group's ideology. I think that a culture of group shame and guilt is a bad culture, and counterproductive. It's also unnecessary to accept such an ideology to achieve gains in reducing harassment.

Now, I'll fully agree that some people will say something like this and then go further into outright denial of problems that don't meet a ludicrous level of evidence. They're posting in this thread. I'm not that guy. There's a problem, it need attention, and there's lots of way to improve. I don't doubt that harassment is ongoing in gaming culture, that it largely targets women, and that it's almost entirely perpetrated by men, many of whom are white. Those are facts. They do not, however, support a stereotype that gaming has a White Male Terrorism problem.

Actually, I agree that the terroristic behavior alleged isn't a "greater concern" for our hobby, but I disagree that we don't need to talk about it. I had ZERO idea that fellow gamers threatened women in such a relentless way until GamerGate. And as I stated, I have faced very little overt racism in the hobby. I had this image of this hobby as a bit of an oasis.

IOW, I saw my fellow gamers with rose colored glasses
I suppose I've never had this problem. Maybe because I wasn't a social outcast, and I wasn't bullied by none gamers. In fact, the most bullying I've ever personally suffered has been at the hands of gamers (not that I particularly cared, but they tried). To me, people are people no matter where you are. And people have a tremendous capacity to suck. And be fantastic. So I don't wear rose colored glasses about groups of people being more noble or better behaved that other groups. At best, I expect them to be people.

Now, some groups do have a higher likelihood of sucking. And gamers, having often been subjected to bullying and being on the short end of the social power stick, are one of them. But that's a people thing, too. If you beat up a person and then give them power, like social power in a group, then they will tend to lash out at the persons or group that abused them. And gamers, most male and mostly white, have often been on the short end of the man/woman social power stick for, like, always. So, it makes sense that it would happen, from that perspective. However, making sense and being acceptable are two very different things.

Well, I guess it kind of boils down to why the harassment is occurring. I believe that most of it is done through ignorance, rather than straight up malicious intent. Someone telling dead baby jokes or commenting on someone's appearance. That sort of thing. The people aren't really deliberately trying to force others out of the game or the hobby, they're just ... well... stupid I guess is the best word here. Socially oblivious?

The problem, and where the notion of terrorism is coming from, is that so much of it is directed at women. From a woman's perspective, does it really matter if that guy (who, from demographics is almost always white) is just stupid or malicious? All that really matters is that guy is making someone uncomfortable to the point where they feel unwelcome. And it has to start feeling pretty pointed after a while.
Probably not to the immediate perspective of the woman being harassed, no.

However, comma. It should matter when discussing how to correct the behavior. If someone is malicious, no manner of talking will correct the behavior. If someone is stupid, they can be educated. In order to successfully educate, though, you need to be able to talk to the person. If your discussion is all 'you have a white male terrorism problem' then some of the stupid people will not listen because you've started by insulting them. It's counterproductive, even if it's cathartic. Also, I think there are some that enjoy the social power dynamic of taking up the defense of harassed women and then using that to be able to be mean and insulting to others that aren't on their team. It's just another example of the 'abused people that get power often abuse that power' effect. Taking the high road, and not engaging in charged language but in rational discourse will reach many of the stupid people much better than haranguing them. The malicious you just have to kick out/get arrested. No solving them.
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
So, it's a problem. What do we do?

- Ask store owners to post & enforce no harassment policies? Don't shop at stores that don't comply?
- Ask cons to post & enforce no harassment policies? Ask for video monitoring of all public spaces? Refuse to attend if they don't?
- Create & wear no harassment t-shirts?
- What about publishers?
- Online stores?
- Make a no harassment statement at the start of any public game that you GM? Ask your GM to do the same?
- "Man up" and intercede the next time someone steps out of line?
Harassment policies are pretty much absolutely required. The problem with many policies, though, is that they're incomplete.

Most policies do a good job of clearly stating what behavior is unacceptable. Many even do a pretty good job of stating the punishments for breaching the policy. But almost all of them do a crappy job of going between those points. For a policy to be effective and useful, it must, in addition to stating prohibited behavior and punishments, clearly state to whom and how to report bad behavior. Who can you/should you report abuse to? Where/how can you find them (in a big con, this is very important, in a store, less)? What do I need to do to report abuse? Is there a form, will I need to answer questions? Will I need to give my name? Etc. All of these things need to be addressed and clearly posted.

Many of your other questions are much more personal in nature. It's up to you if you want to wear a shirt. I like the idea of con management/contacts for a harassment policy to be identifiable via such a thing -- advertisement of the policy and functional at the same time. It's up to you if you participate in a store that doesn't post a policy. It's up to you if you want to have a personal policy at your table -- just make sure it doesn't run afoul of any store or con policies.

It's up to you if you want to intercede or report a specific incident. I'd strongly encourage you do to so, even if it's just at the level of 'that's not cool!' Often, just challenging a behavior with such a statement can immediately stop the behavior (and sometimes not). We each must judge our involvement ourselves. I stand up, call out the behavior, and will report it if it has crossed the line from accidental to intentional or is severe enough, or if the situation isn't resolved immediately. Sometime it can be handled at the table, sometimes it must be escalated. As with all human interaction, there's no set of rules for which is which.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
At various points upthread, people have asked if this level of harassment (especially the online threats) is just a gaming thing or if it is something common to any area in which men have dominated, and the "boy's club" is just now starting to see more women getting admission. The answer I've given has been that it is the latter. Here's an exemplar featuring "mean tweets" to female sports reporters.

https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/hope-boyfriend-beats-men-read-162507278.html

Clearly, the guys are having almost as hard a time reading it aloud to them as the targets no doubt did when first they read them. So there IS hope.

It reminds me of John 3:20, "For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed." The anonymity of the Internet lets miscreants hide away. So one potential weapon in the arsenal against such behavior is exposure. If you find out who is spreading Internet poison, let others know.
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
At various points upthread, people have asked if this level of harassment (especially the online threats) is just a gaming thing or if it is something common to any area in which men have dominated, and the "boy's club" is just now starting to see more women getting admission. The answer I've given has been that it is the latter. Here's an exemplar featuring "mean tweets" to female sports reporters.

https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/hope-boyfriend-beats-men-read-162507278.html

Clearly, the guys are having almost as hard a time reading it aloud to them as the targets no doubt did when first they read them. So there IS hope.

It reminds me of John 3:20, "For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed." The anonymity of the Internet lets miscreants hide away. So one potential weapon in the arsenal against such behavior is exposure. If you find out who is spreading Internet poison, let others know.
For what purpose are you letting others know? Serious question, as doxxing (doxxing: providing real world information about a poster, like addresses and real names) is a big point of contention on both sides of the internet harassment fence. Usually, the point of doxxing is to allow others to heap scorn upon the bad actor, but isn't that just more bad acting? Is harassment of harassers the proper response? I don't profess to know the answers, here. I have an immediate negative reaction to calls for exposure because that seems like a call for retribution, for abuse to be applied to the abusers. I don't think that's the right answer. However, anonymity is one of the legs of the internet @@@hole formula, and, if there were less anonymity, there'd be less @@@holes, presumably.

But, let's say that you can identify someone, and they don't get a mountain of harassment aimed at them (best case). What's the point? That wouldn't prevent or even much dissuade the behavior; they can continue to say what they said before, if less anonymously. So, really, it's the implied understanding that, by exposing a jerk on the internet, you would be inviting people to publicly chastise and shame the jerk. Essentially, the intent is to call down a shame mob on the person and make it hellish for them to punish them and to make sure they don't do it anymore. I think that I have a moral problem with that. I've said it before, means matter, and if a behavior (harassment, in this case) is wrong in one direction it's wrong in the opposite direction.

But, that leaves the behavior pretty much unchecked. There isn't a good answer, it seems, but I'm pretty sure that doxxing isn't even an okay answer.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
I don't believe that harassing harassers is appropriate as a general principle. Exceptions exist, like counterdemonstrations.

However, if you know who the harassers are, you can change your behavior in non-harassing ways. For instance, were I to find out Internet Troll X who was sending rape threats to a female gamer of my acquaintance happened to be the car mechanic down the street, I could opt not to give him my business, same as I'd do if I found out if he were a member of the KKK.

If Internet Troll X were a guy I socialize with regularly, perhaps I'd reevaluate our friendship.
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
I don't believe that harassing harassers is appropriate as a general principle. Exceptions exist, like counterdemonstrations.

However, if you know who the harassers are, you can change your behavior in non-harassing ways. For instance, were I to find out Internet Troll X who was sending rape threats to a female gamer of my acquaintance happened to be the car mechanic down the street, I could opt not to give him my business, same as I'd do if I found out if he were a member of the KKK.

If Internet Troll X were a guy I socialize with regularly, perhaps I'd reevaluate our friendship.
Justifying a measure by the most appealing results is a poor test. If you want to vet a rule, place it in the hands of the people you think most likely to abuse it and then use that data point for evaluation. For instance, if you think that outing the real life identity of an internet troll to your friends is a good idea, do you also think that an internet troll being about to out your identity to his friends is a good idea?

Also, if I found out that a friend of my was sending rape threats to anyone, much less someone else I know, re-evaluating the friendship would be the least of that fallout.
 
Justifying a measure by the most appealing results is a poor test. If you want to vet a rule, place it in the hands of the people you think most likely to abuse it and then use that data point for evaluation. For instance, if you think that outing the real life identity of an internet troll to your friends is a good idea, do you also think that an internet troll being about to out your identity to his friends is a good idea?

Also, if I found out that a friend of my was sending rape threats to anyone, much less someone else I know, re-evaluating the friendship would be the least of that fallout.
DOxing (I think that is the right word) is a major issue. There are reasons not to want anyone to talk about our real names here or anyhere...
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
Harassment policies are pretty much absolutely required. The problem with many policies, though, is that they're incomplete.

<snip>

Many of your other questions are much more personal in nature. It's up to you if you want to wear a shirt. I like the idea of con management/contacts for a harassment policy to be identifiable via such a thing -- advertisement of the policy and functional at the same time. It's up to you if you participate in a store that doesn't post a policy. It's up to you if you want to have a personal policy at your table -- just make sure it doesn't run afoul of any store or con policies.

It's up to you if you want to intercede or report a specific incident. I'd strongly encourage you do to so, even if it's just at the level of 'that's not cool!' Often, just challenging a behavior with such a statement can immediately stop the behavior (and sometimes not). We each must judge our involvement ourselves. I stand up, call out the behavior, and will report it if it has crossed the line from accidental to intentional or is severe enough, or if the situation isn't resolved immediately. Sometime it can be handled at the table, sometimes it must be escalated. As with all human interaction, there's no set of rules for which is which.
I think parts of my post that I did not write and assumed would be understood weren't. My oversight.

Of course I can do these things. I wasn't asking what an individual could do. I was trying to ask what we, the gaming community (or at least a set of "us") are actually willing to do?

I think most of us would intercede if we saw such an event occurring. If it happened at a con or your local game store and the management didn't take action (and what action?), would you walk out and never return? Of course we have to try to take effective action(s). But what actions are "we" willing to take?
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
I think parts of my post that I did not write and assumed would be understood weren't. My oversight.

Of course I can do these things. I wasn't asking what an individual could do. I was trying to ask what we, the gaming community (or at least a set of "us") are actually willing to do?

I think most of us would intercede if we saw such an event occurring. If it happened at a con or your local game store and the management didn't take action (and what action?), would you walk out and never return? Of course we have to try to take effective action(s). But what actions are "we" willing to take?
Are you asking each person to answer, or are you talking generally? I couched my response in terms of what I expect from the generic you.
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
Are you asking each person to answer, or are you talking generally? I couched my response in terms of what I expect from the generic you.
There I go again, not being very clear :)

I actually don't know what I expect. I hope each person asks and answers these questions to themselves.

But, after 67 pages of discussion, what, if anything concrete is going to come from the time and consideration people have spent on this issue. Is it simply going to be a thread were people discuss their views, feel good about themselves for the stances they take on this forum? Or, is a movement going to be started that generates some "charter" and takes some actions?

For me personally, I plan to create a few sentences that I include in game descriptions when I put together an online game open to the public (FG Daze, FG Con, etc). I'm willing to walk out of a store or con and never come back if management refuses to appropriately handle a situation. But, none of that is a stretch for me, as I don't often go to stores or cons. I'm willing to help develop and support such a "charter". I'm willing to do other things if presented with a reasonably effective plan.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Justifying a measure by the most appealing results is a poor test. If you want to vet a rule, place it in the hands of the people you think most likely to abuse it and then use that data point for evaluation. For instance, if you think that outing the real life identity of an internet troll to your friends is a good idea, do you also think that an internet troll being about to out your identity to his friends is a good idea?

Also, if I found out that a friend of my was sending rape threats to anyone, much less someone else I know, re-evaluating the friendship would be the least of that fallout.
There are boards in which my identity is fully known. Now, I'd rather trolls not know who I am and other stuff, but I guarantee you that if I were fully revealed in retaliation for revealing a troll, the troll would have a harder time of it. My secrets are small things, and would not up harm me and mine so much as being exposed to making crimially actionable threats on the Internet.

At any rate, I was also unable to access ENWorld for some time today, starting while I was editing the post you're responding to. I meant to continue:

Another alternative to harassment, shunning, voting with dollars/feet is constructive engagement. I've seen some powerful examples of it working in real life- one reason why I don't use message board ignore lists. The one I took to heart was that of a Rabbi who was getting phoned threats of violence from a neo-Nazi. Instead of hanging up, or yelling or any of the normal, expended reactions, the Rabbi always asked the caller why he was doing what he was doing, in a calm, clear "fatherly" voice.

After many months of this, the harassment stopped, and caller asked to meet the Rabbi. They met several times, and eventually, the Rabbi convinced him to give up his hatred. The man started getting his "88", swastika and other tattoos removed.

More time passed, and the former white supremacist married a Hispanic woman. The story ended when the man got a terminal diagnosis, and he & his wife spent his final days living with the Rabbi's family.

That is the power of constructive engagement. We can't all be as strong as that Rabbi, but his story gives us a an example to aim for, and an idea of what we can achieve if we try.
 

doseyclwn

Villager
What I as a man need to realize is that if I had grown up and been subject to the kind of harassment that women are unfortunately subject to in Nerd culture, I might be more sensitive to it than your Avg. White Guy. So while something may not be offensive to me, I don't get to decide if it's offensive for someone else. And I've never ever felt stifled by that.
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
There are boards in which my identity is fully known. Now, I'd rather trolls not know who I am and other stuff, but I guarantee you that if I were fully revealed in retaliation for revealing a troll, the troll would have a harder time of it. My secrets are small things, and would not up harm me and mine so much as being exposed to making crimially actionable threats on the Internet.

At any rate, I was also unable to access ENWorld for some time today, starting while I was editing the post you're responding to. I meant to continue:

Another alternative to harassment, shunning, voting with dollars/feet is constructive engagement. I've seen some powerful examples of it working in real life- one reason why I don't use message board ignore lists. The one I took to heart was that of a Rabbi who was getting phoned threats of violence from a neo-Nazi. Instead of hanging up, or yelling or any of the normal, expended reactions, the Rabbi always asked the caller why he was doing what he was doing, in a calm, clear "fatherly" voice.

After many months of this, the harassment stopped, and caller asked to meet the Rabbi. They met several times, and eventually, the Rabbi convinced him to give up his hatred. The man started getting his "88", swastika and other tattoos removed.

More time passed, and the former white supremacist married a Hispanic woman. The story ended when the man got a terminal diagnosis, and he & his wife spent his final days living with the Rabbi's family.

That is the power of constructive engagement. We can't all be as strong as that Rabbi, but his story gives us a an example to aim for, and an idea of what we can achieve if we try.
While I appreciate your anecdote, it really doesn't have much at all to do with the idea of doxxing people, does it? Now, don't get me wrong, the kind of engagement in your story is fantastic, but it's a bit optimistic to expect that people being harassed will maintain enough detachment to do that (the rabbi in your story is inspiring). It is also an example of that tactic working -- it doesn't often. People that hate faced with reason and kindness will often just go look for another target and not stop to listen. So, while your tale is truly inspiring, it's also a best case example of a truly self-possessed victim and a perpetrator willing to listen. It's not a good model for general cases.

And doxxing is still a bad idea.
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
What I as a man need to realize is that if I had grown up and been subject to the kind of harassment that women are unfortunately subject to in Nerd culture, I might be more sensitive to it than your Avg. White Guy. So while something may not be offensive to me, I don't get to decide if it's offensive for someone else. And I've never ever felt stifled by that.
Ah, the kafkatrap, again. First you describe a situation that most right thinking people would find horrible -- a life of harassment. Then you introduce the identity politics -- it's white men that can't recognize the problem. Then you establish that you should either accept that you should be in the blame group because you don't get it, or that you explicitly condone the harassment. Thing is, I don't have to accept your framework to do good against harassment.

The core of your statement is the one truth, but it's a trivial one. Without the identity politics baggage, you're just essentially saying that empathy is good -- trying to understand the situation from a victim's point of view is a good thing to do. And, to that, I have no issue. It's trivially obvious that empathy is a good thing. But the cloak of identity politics draped over this -- women, white men, accept guilt for your group -- distorts the essential goodness of the empathy. It turns it into a signalling device to position yourself as a defender of the downtrodden with you having done nothing except publicly state that you're okay with your group guilt -- that you accept the condemnation. All that does is give you the illusion of a moral high ground to lecture others on their guilty natures, which they come to by accident of genetics. Essentially, your statement is nothing more than a statement of political tribalism. It does nothing to advance or correct the problem -- it just makes you feel better and superior to others because you've accepted your place in the framework, which, regardless of the guilt assigned to your group, is defined as superior to anyone that hasn't accepted the guilt.
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
There I go again, not being very clear :)

I actually don't know what I expect. I hope each person asks and answers these questions to themselves.

But, after 67 pages of discussion, what, if anything concrete is going to come from the time and consideration people have spent on this issue. Is it simply going to be a thread were people discuss their views, feel good about themselves for the stances they take on this forum? Or, is a movement going to be started that generates some "charter" and takes some actions?

For me personally, I plan to create a few sentences that I include in game descriptions when I put together an online game open to the public (FG Daze, FG Con, etc). I'm willing to walk out of a store or con and never come back if management refuses to appropriately handle a situation. But, none of that is a stretch for me, as I don't often go to stores or cons. I'm willing to help develop and support such a "charter". I'm willing to do other things if presented with a reasonably effective plan.
This isn't a problem that will be solved by an ENWorld discussion. The realistic aims of such a discussion as this is awareness of the scope of the problem, and that's being achieved. Even Danny, who's already predisposed to help, has stated that he wasn't even aware of the scope of this problem. That means that he wouldn't be looking for a problem and would likely have overlooked minor events because he wasn't paying attention. He's paying attention, now, and won't overlook the small things that create the culture that more readily accepts the grosser behaviors. That's progress, and he's not the only one in just this thread that's said that they're not more aware.

I think people are calibrated to expect that any problem should be solved in a short time. That's not reality, and it's certainly not reality when dealing with cultural issues. The best and most through changes in culture are the ones that occur from within, not the ones forced on from without. And, while this is a problem that is heinous in nature, it's still a cultural one, so awareness is the best weapon to fight it. In the meantime, do whatever you feel is right for you to continue to raise awareness and don't tolerate harassment in your games or in your venues.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I am taking bits out of order here, because a relevant point got raised late in the post I'm responding to, but it shold be addressed earliy in the response.

For what purpose are you letting others know?
This one is actually pretty easy.

Doxxing to enable harassment is a problem. However, if you release the address and name of a person *who has committed harassment* or made threats, you are now enabling proper legal action (see below). As you've already noted, online harassment is enabled by anonymity. Breaking that anonymity, while not sufficient, is a *required* step in addressing the issue.

But, let's say that you can identify someone, and they don't get a mountain of harassment aimed at them (best case). What's the point? That wouldn't prevent or even much dissuade the behavior; they can continue to say what they said before, if less anonymously.
Um, no. Harassment is generally *illegal*. It is not protected speech. For example, in my state of Massachusetts:

MA General Laws, Part IV, Title I, Chapter 265:
Section 43A. (a) Whoever willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person, which seriously alarms that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, shall be guilty of the crime of criminal harassment and shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

So, what you get out of it is enabling legal action.

I have an immediate negative reaction to calls for exposure because that seems like a call for retribution, for abuse to be applied to the abusers.
Yeah, there's this thing we call, "punishment". Perhaps you've heard of it. The Rabbi mentioned above notwithstanding, our psychological sciences have not progressed to the point where we can regularly and reliably correct bad behavior through purely positive means. We occasionally (actually, regularly) need to use some forces on bad actors that are not pleasant. Until you can state a workable alternative, your rejection of it does not constitute constructive criticism.

Can we agree that there is inadequate recourse available through legal channels at this point? Given a justice system that is overburdened, police forces that are not trained or equipped to deal with internet issues, and those forces being largely male and unfortunately often dismissive of rape, much less harassment against women, I mean?

So, in the face of inadequate legal recourse for an illegal act... you expect folks to just sit there and take it? Are you trying to tell us that people don't have a right to self defense when the cops aren't willing or able to intervene?
 

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