Erica Flores

Reddit Games / r closes on …

Moderators of the popular Reddit r / Games subreddit are using April Fools’ Day to protest intolerant and “horrible” comments. The subreddit, which has 1.7 million members, is closing for the day. Posts and comments are blocked. In one ad, moderators highlight what they call a growing problem with discrimination, harassment, and vitriolic attacks.

“This April Fools,” we decided to take things a little more seriously and shed some light on a growing and pervasive issue that has affected the r / Games community and gaming communities in general, “wrote the moderators in a post. “What is intended to be a forum for the possible dissemination of knowledge and participation in video games has become a battlefield of conflicting ideas … when that argument descends to vitriolic attacks between individuals on a regular basis without possibility de-escalation. that’s when, simply put, something has to give. “

Moderators cite posts that “ridicule and demonize” marginalized people in games

Specifically, moderators say r / Games commenters are demonizing and ridiculing women, people of color, Muslims, and other groups who have been marginalized or marginalized. A deleted comment page highlights a poster justifying the mass killings of Muslims in New Zealand, several others complaining about the inclusion of gay or transgender people in games, and volumes of people using racial slurs to attack other users ( in one case, counting) anyone bothered by the insults to “commit suicide”).

“Our community is increasingly responsible for perpetuating a significant number of these combative and disparaging schools of thought,” the moderators write. “We remove those comments, we ban the perpetrators, but the problem persists at a fundamental level – the idea that it is okay or acceptable to ridicule and demonize traditionally marginalized and marginalized members of the gaming community.”

Moderators note that this is not just a problem within games. It is part of a society-wide culture war instigated by people who see diversity as a threat to their communities and interests. But the gaming community is huge, home to some especially virulent strains of harassment, including persistent attacks on developers, potentially deadly hoaxes sparked by gaming rivalries, and the Gamergate anti-diversity campaign.

“Preventing the cultivation of intolerance means not giving it ground.”

The R / Games subreddit is not the largest gaming community on Reddit. It’s known for having a quality filter that r / Gaming’s 21 million subscribers lack, and temporarily shutting it down is a remarkable claim. (It’s also much more meaningful and less irritating than your average April Fools joke.) Subreddit rules already prohibit inflammatory language, inciting harassment, “low effort” comments, and posts that don’t fit the purpose of “informing and discussing” gaming-related topics.

Polygon reports that r / Games moderators will post a “meta” thread discussing the decision later today. The closing post does not discuss how they will change the subreddit in the future, but it seems to point towards a zero tolerance policy for “backward thinking” and harassment. “Preventing the cultivation of intolerance means giving you no ground to go to, and in general, there is only room for those who respectfully participate.”

For now, the post encourages readers to donate to a list of charities like Able Gamers and Life After Hate. It also calls on people to make positive contributions to ar / Games. “You are what keeps us going,” he says. “You are the one we want to see the most of, and you are all that has the potential to be a strong and open community for those who love and enjoy video games the way we do.”