UK Game Stores Band Together To Ban Alleged Bully [Updated]

Below is an open letter published by a number of UK game stores which have banded together to ban an individual who they say bullies disabled gamers. If that's true - good for them! We don't need or want bullies in our hobby. Note: I removed the name of the guy.

It has come to our attention that at a recent tournament held by Groovy Frog, Yugioh player XXXX caused distress and harassment to an opponent who had learning difficulties, and had a confrontation with both his opponent’s parent and the store owners which has resulted in him being banned from the store.

Subsequently a video was made which showed XXXX and his mates joking about playing against someone with Downs Syndrome, something which was likely to cause further harassment, alarm and distress.

Under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986:

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he:
(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,
within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby."

This offence has the following statutory defences:

(a) The defendant had no reason to believe that there was any person within hearing or sight who was likely to be alarmed or distressed by his action.
(b) The defendant was in a dwelling and had no reason to believe that his behaviour would be seen or heard by any person outside any dwelling.
(c) The conduct was reasonable.

Because this was committed against a vulnerable person, we understand that under the law these actions are considered aggravated.

It is sometimes hard for Yugioh players to understand that the real world is not the playground. Our stores and clubs should be a refuge against bullying and discrimination in all its forms. Most players – and some store owners – will have experienced bullying at school to a lesser or greater extent. Traumatising a vulnerable player with learning difficulties, mocking him in person and then mocking him subsequently (albeit I suspect unintentionally) by talking about the incident on You Tube is the sort of behaviour we cannot countenance or condone.

It is because of this that we have decided, unilaterally to take action and ban XXXX Lennard from our stores and tournaments forthwith.

Under the law, the maximum penalty for an offence of this type against a vulnerable victim would be six months in jail. The following stores have signed up to ban XXXX for six months beginning today the 20th of August and lasting until the 20th of February, at which point we will review his conduct.

If during those six months it comes to our attention that XXXX has learned nothing from this experience, then we shall extend that ban until such time as he does. This ban and its condition should indicate how seriously we believe behaviour like this is totally unacceptable, and will run concurrent with whatever penalty Konami subsequently impose.

Yours sincerely

Acme Games
Area 51
Chimera Beeston/Cardslinger Events
Comics & Collectibles
Eclectic Games
Fan Boy Three
Gamers Nexus
Groovy Frog
Guys That Game
Highlander Games
Kids Dreams
Leisure Games
Orcs Nest
Patriot Games Sheffield
Patriot Games Leeds
Rules of Play
Scythe & Teacup
The Gamers’ Emporium
The Games Shop
The Games Store
Wayland’s Forge
Zone Out

Update


The individual has posted the following video covering his side of the issue.

[video=youtube_share;iPGv78g7IbU]http://youtu.be/iPGv78g7IbU[/video]​
 
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

frankthedm

Visitor
Heh, business quoting the law trying to act intimidating. I've seen that before :rollyeyes:

It doesn't have enough intel, but this apology issued weeks ago might be worth noting...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvWWVqSu_sM&feature=c4-overview&list=UUIBtoNrWNgPp0c2WsNtGvqQ

Sounds like the mom harassed his associate over youtube comments, then harassed him in the line due to a rules issues and later he makes the insensitive comments in a train amoung his friends, not at the venue to the alleged victim. Due to the no politics rules, I'll withhold further comments
 
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Janx

Adventurer
Heh, business quoting the law trying to act intimidating. I've seen that before :rollyeyes:
As opposed to them just making it up as they go along?

Of course their declaration doesn't have legal standing or support.

However, as free individuals, they have a right to decide who enters their store. They chose to identify a bad actor, and a real law that indicates the actor's behavior was bad and to ban said bad actor.

totally within their right to do so on their property.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Sounds like the mom harassed his associate over youtube comments, then harassed him in the line due to a rules issues and later he makes the insensitive comments in a train amoung his friends, not at the venue to the alleged victim. Due to the no politics rules, I'll withhold further comments
*shrug*. We weren't there, so to us, there's going to be some "he said, she said" to the reportage. Let's say that's what happened, for argument's sake. Mom gets on his case. So, he strikes out at the kid? I see you claim it was not at the venue, to the victim, but the OP says that the victim was present.

Do you take your anger at your neighbor out on the neighbor's kids? Sounds like seriously bad form, to me.

As for the legalisms - they don't come across to me as trying to be more intimidating. They are trying to display a justification for action. "Since the law does this, we are taking that as our guideline."
 
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Janx

Adventurer
Beware of starting something like this on the Internet. These things can turn ugly really quickly.
It's certainly gets sticky by naming a person, who can then claim they were slandered or libeled or whatever it's called (do we really need 2 terms that mean the same thing but in different communication forms?)

I do see that folks DO need to start taking action like banning against these bully types.

Kind of like that high school foot ball star who recorded a youtube video where he laughed about some girl getting raped at a party he was at that he apparently witnessed.

While nobody should threaten the guy with violence, the entire village should shun that jerkhole and refuse service to him.

Remember when bad behavior got you kicked out of the club?
 

Salamandyr

Adventurer
He may be a complete prat, but publicizing his name all over the internet, to people in other countries, who have never met him and will never hear his side of the story, is also bullying.
 

Janx

Adventurer
He may be a complete prat, but publicizing his name all over the internet, to people in other countries, who have never met him and will never hear his side of the story, is also bullying.
In today's world of every idiot posting YouTubes of themselves acting like a jerk, that may be the consequence of doing so.

If you post a video of yourself doing something bad, that IS your side of the story and the internet is free to decide what to do with you.

Don't like the terms of service, don't put your name out there.

There's folks out there who are afraid of 1984-like government censorship.

The real problem is everybody is broadcasting their thoughts and information out by their own active choice and are then horrified to learn that other people don't like them anymore.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
He may be a complete prat, but publicizing his name all over the internet, to people in other countries, who have never met him and will never hear his side of the story, is also bullying.
That's what news is. Or are you suggesting that news should only ever be local to you? I hear about news, big and small, from other countries all the time.

And of course folks can hear his side of the story.
 

ThirdWizard

Visitor
In today's world of every idiot posting YouTubes of themselves acting like a jerk, that may be the consequence of doing so.
Was he doing that?

And, even if he did (which isn't the story being posted in this thread), we still aren't talking about people not liking him. We're talking about harassing and bullying someone because someone else told us he's a bully. You know, maybe the kid deserves it. I don't know. But, I do know that a lot of people get doxxed, and it isn't pretty when something like a phone number or an address gets leaked. Even if he is the whatever percent of people that are actually guilty, what control is there over the response level? None. And, its easy to get all kinds of information on people once you have their name and area. All it takes is one person to dig it up.

This case probably won't go that far. Most don't. But, its still dangerous and still unprofessional for a group of businesses to pile up on a minor. If they want to ban him from their stores, that's fine. Just don't do anything to incite an Internet mob. Once its on, it cannot be called off. Maybe only one in a hundred cases of stuff like this leads to actual harm, but why take the chance?
 

Salamandyr

Adventurer
That's what news is. Or are you suggesting that news should only ever be local to you? I hear about news, big and small, from other countries all the time.

And of course folks can hear his side of the story.
EDIT: While I was writing this, Thirdwizard said it much better than I did. So just consider me as saying "Ditto" to Thirdwizard.

If this was a public figure of some sort I'd agree with you. Perhaps he's got some prominence that I'm not aware of, other than being a jerk?

That all game stores in England have chosen to ban a single individual is news. In general though, one doesn't quite so prominently use the persons name to tell that story. That seems like it is inviting other people to join in, and that leads to harassment, and often death threats.

I'm not trying to defend this persons behavior; I don't know this person. I just would like people to remember there's a limit to appropriate opprobrium.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
He hasn't been "outed" or "named". He himself made it public via the very public video sharing service, YouTube, under his own name, using his own face on video. Sure, he's removed it now (probably a wise decision).

What's happened now is that people are reacting/responding to that public video. Which is the whole point of putting something publicly on YouTube. That's what the website is for.

You can see his further, again shared publicly, video response, above.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
He may be a complete prat, but publicizing his name all over the internet, to people in other countries, who have never met him and will never hear his side of the story, is also bullying.
No it isn't. Public exposure of bad behavior (or any behavior for that matter) and ostracism isn't bullying. It may be somewhat daunting when you realize you've become internationally notorious, but that isn't bullying either. There's no use of force or coercion, there's no harassment, there's no assault. It may put public pressure on the target, but not all public pressure is bullying.
 

Janx

Adventurer
This case probably won't go that far. Most don't. But, its still dangerous and still unprofessional for a group of businesses to pile up on a minor. If they want to ban him from their stores, that's fine. Just don't do anything to incite an Internet mob. Once its on, it cannot be called off. Maybe only one in a hundred cases of stuff like this leads to actual harm, but why take the chance?
I don't disagree with your logic either, as I alluded in my first post on this thread. It may not be a good idea to go naming the guy you don't like in public.

Heck, chastizing somebody in public for their public act of bad behavior is the same risk for yourself as the bad actor took in drawing reactive attention.

To me it's just risk. Each party is free to decide how how they want to react.

It is always wrong to behave badly. It is not wrong to oppose and respond in force against bad behavior. Sometimes, YOU are somebody else's Karma coming back to bite them. Without this, there is no consequence for bad behavior.

Obviously, there is such thing as going overboard with the force used in a response. If not legally, then societally. Like the new car commercial where the kid keeps taking his clothes off and throwing them out the window while the car is moving and laughing about it.

The commercial isn't going to show it, but the kid should not be laughing by the end of that episode. A correct response might be a slap on the hand to teach him not to do that anymore. Packing more clothes to replace the lost ones is not an acceptable adult response. Nor is hauling the kid out and giving him 40 lashes with a crop.

Whatever your parenting style, doing nothing teaches nothing. Likewise, doing too much will get you too much trouble.

Choose wisely
 

Salamandyr

Adventurer
No it isn't. Public exposure of bad behavior (or any behavior for that matter) and ostracism isn't bullying. It may be somewhat daunting when you realize you've become internationally notorious, but that isn't bullying either. There's no use of force or coercion, there's no harassment, there's no assault. It may put public pressure on the target, but not all public pressure is bullying.
There is a line that crosses from "public exposure of bad behavior" to bullying. You see it a lot in politics, where agitating groups publish the names and addresses of their political opponents to invite attacks on them. And when they're called out on it? The excuse they use is exactly the on you just used. It's an attempt to bully opponents into silence by using the power of the mob against them.

Is that the case in this particular case? Upon further reflection, I don't think it quite rises to that level. (the behavior of the game stores all banding together to ban him might). But it does come uncomfortably close, especially using the person's name and calling him a "bully" in the thread title.
 

Janx

Adventurer
No it isn't. Public exposure of bad behavior (or any behavior for that matter) and ostracism isn't bullying. It may be somewhat daunting when you realize you've become internationally notorious, but that isn't bullying either. There's no use of force or coercion, there's no harassment, there's no assault. It may put public pressure on the target, but not all public pressure is bullying.
Exactly.

Obviously, there could be some other jerkhole to take this new information about a jerkhole and do something ridiculous. But that's on him. Not you. Information is information. Misuse of it is on the individual using it, not the source.

it takes a village to raise a child.

With the advent of publishing your behavior on the internet, the internet became the village.

While nobody should ever lift a hand to your child, if he misbehaves, we are all entitled to the right to not interact with him and to advise others to do the same.

I suppose the kid and mom could be horrified at "why does the world hate my kid?" but the failure is on them. The mom didn't raise her kid to be kind, didn't supervise enough him so he couldn't misbehave, didn't monitor his access to the internet where he could defame himself. Only the last part is where the whole world hates him, instead of just every game store in england. So it's really not an internet problem, given the first two failures.

Personally, I don't know that EN World should have published the kid's name. It's a risky play, and I suspect the game store's banning of the kid was sufficient hand slappery. Anything with minors is risky business, best let those folks whisper his name in hushed tones while they all refuse to serve him.
 

Eccles

Ragged idiot in a trilby.
For the record, the maximum penalty for a S.5 public order offence is a fine. At the upper limit it's capped at £1,000. Not the 6 months in custody quoted by the games stores. Assuming the lad involved in this case is under 18 and not in work, then there's no way that he would be expected to pay that much money.

That said, it's their shops, they're free to ban anyone for any reason, and frankly what they are suggesting (assuming all is accurate) seems wholly proper.

Just the dates they're basing it all on are utter nonsense, that's all...

(Though there are other possible offences available, I'd be getting too technical to explore them).
 

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