RuneScape boots player who streamed himself bullying a suicidal gamer

    
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Somebody loves you, and that's good.

A game as large and old and multifaceted as RuneScape is bound to collect some bad seeds over time, and as we’ve seen repeatedly in the past, it’s not just players who cause a scene but streamers too. MMO gamers will recall that this past autumn, Jagex had to investigate and terminate its working relationship with multiple content creators and streamers accused of sexual harassment at RuneFest. This weekend, it’s had to disavow yet another streamer, this one who during his stream directed a known-suicidal player to kill herself.

Jagex brought out the banhammer straightaway, citing its zero-tolerance policy.

“This morning we became aware that over the weekend a RuneScape player had live streamed himself calling a vulnerable individual who had admitted they were having suicidal thoughts, telling that person to kill themselves. The RuneScape player is not someone with whom Jagex has – or ever had – a business relationship but given the incredibly serious nature of the incident we have taken measures that make it clear such behaviour will not be tolerated. As a result, the individual has had their RuneScape account permanently banned with immediate effect. Jagex is incredibly passionate about mental health and wellbeing, and we will continue to do all we can to help those in our community – and beyond – receive the support they need to overcome the mental health challenges they face in their day-to-day lives.”

For what it’s worth, the streamer in question apologized publicly, saying he meant it as a joke and wasn’t intended to be heard on the stream, though he admits that doesn’t excuse anything and says he was “fairly punished” by Jagex and Twitch. He also donated to a suicide prevention group.

Either way, Jagex has responded with more conviction than some past MMO studios. CCP Games, for example, once famously allowed a prominent MMO player to continue playing after directing other players to bully a suicidal gamer during a live panel at EVE Fanfest and even after encouraging other players to harass the press covering the incident. Things have changed a bit since 2012.

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Aaron Weddle

i have one thing to say…. But mittens… with the wizard hat… at fanfest

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Runescape had a in-game ‘event’ addressing mental health topics (Though the event was badly done, and was basically a ‘Guess the answer to these questions and if you get it factually correct we’ll give you 3 lamps worth of in-game exp per day’ and some other stuff that you could earn some dopey/derpy looking pets to follow you around…one of which constantly drops his ice cream cone. Both pets were rather insulting as a person who suffers from mental illnesses myself as they implied that we’re all kind of stupid or incapable of doing things, but it was nice to at least see a company trying to confront the stigma.) earlier last year.

So this doesn’t surprise me. More companies should stick up for people like this, as games like these are perfect ways for people in real life who may have something ‘off-putting’ about themselves that detracts from social interactions/disallows them from happening…so sometimes these games are the only source of interactions with others for some people. To then have groups of people who tell others to off themselves or harm themselves while bullying someone, doesn’t make for good interactions with others.

Generally when I see this type of behavior in games, I tear the shreds out of the person wishing ill on another, because if you’re wishing ill on someone else, you need brought down a peg or two or stopped. But then I often realize that those people are just crying out for attention themselves because of something in their own lives and are lashing out at others as their way to ‘help themselves’.

Then there are those who are just intent on harming others. The sociopaths. The sadists. The people who gain pleasure from harming another person. Nothing you do or say will stop those people, and something like a permanent ban would be the only way to remove them from your game. (Except that doesn’t stop those people, as they just make a new character and go back to their old ways. I’ve had to put up with people like that, who I’ve put on ignore list who just keep trying to get around the ignore list to bother you. It’s like they are sitting there chortling with glee as they harm someone else…)

I wish the world weren’t as twisted as it is, but at this point, I’m myself long since devoid of hope on that front. I keep to myself as much as possible now/play it ‘close to the vest’ and refrain from interacting with others unless I happen across some kind soul I am interested in forming a repertoire with. I’m stubborn/like a rock on certain fronts, so I’ve managed to put up with most of this type of stuff for years and worked through it, but even my play has slowly become limited over time due to people of this nature.

I grew up with the Reader’s Digest quotes of ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ so I often when I am getting annoyed find something amusing to take my mind off it. Or think about all the possibilities and chuckle. A lot of society doesn’t think too many steps ahead, and that’s often where my mind is. Pondering how things will change due to actions people take.

Will this make things better? I doubt it. But maybe one less person harming others will have his forum to do so.

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Fenrir Wolf

I see this a lot in contemporary Internet communities and subcultures, and of all the many things it is, what it most certainly isn’t is okay.

These are usually very vulnerable young people who’ve endured a lot of suffering and othering at the hands of an, unfortunately, all too shallow world. There are times when, frankly, I’m glad for autism and the more extreme cases of introversion as otherwise I feel we’d be choked by the collective shallowness, narcissism, and grotesquely vain self-obsession of our species.

The real problem arises with truly influential shallow persons, those versed in the ways of what psychology rather too dramatically calls the dark triad. An all too silly name for a grouping of traits all too real.

With the tools of narcissism, psychoticism, and machiavellianism at their disposal, it becomes a simple matter to manipulate people to achieve their questionable goals. They grow their power & influence, their outer self, if you will, by being a vile singularity of verisimilitude.

They draw in all that is like them to have the greatest sway over their affiliated herds. And if you don’t fit in and you can’t be easily conditioned by peer pressure to adopt the moires of said herds? You’re going to be abused. It’s not even just ‘likely,’ it’s absolutely guaranteed without the shred of a doubt. Anyone who’s even just a little eccentric is aware of this.

I speak from experience, too. I’m hardly what you’d call “usual.”

I’ve been vulnerable. I’ve known my fair share of bullying and othering. Only through finding my own inner strengths and bloody-minded stubbornness have I endured the worst of days. Some days, it can be… unpleasant. Neurodiversity is an invisible thing, after all. If one looks to be all of those things that we accept as privileged, then there’s no way they could be a target.

Sadly, that isn’t the case.

It can also be far more troubling when coupled with how vulnerable youth can settle with unusual subcultures in order to find some semblance of support. Certainly, there they’ll find people like them who’ll make the more difficult days less of a nightmarish ordeal, and yet… at the same time it can result in a collective target.

Does this mean these subcultures shouldn’t exist? Oh dear me, no. That would be a bleak world, wouldn’t it? A world without creative expression of the self is one I wouldn’t want to live in. No, rather that we ought to recognise any creature out of the blood of vulnerable youth as the monster they are.

The raid bosses of the real world aren’t dragons, or demons, or anything of the sort (honestly, they’re probably lovely ladies and chaps who’ve been othered as well), but rather the dark triad personality. The narcissist, the psychopath, the machiavelllian plotter.

And whilst it might seem “harmless” to attack these groups? Well, that is quite what a psycho would want you to think, isn’t it? Just as it’s “okay” to attack any minority or vulnerable group. Just swap out whatever the name of your target is with any group you’d be uncomfortable attacking and the truth of this becomes self-evident.

We need to not only stop being so toxic that we’d bring a vulnerable youth to suicide, but we also need to stop being so utterly base and bloody cowardly as well. I understand from my own experiences that you’re most likely terrified of calling out these deeply unpleasant influential types, as they and their shallow herds alike might paint a target on you.

Then you’d have to know what it’s like. Which, really, if you’re afraid of that ought to show you the shame you should be feeling right now. Some have endured abuse their life long, they have no choice. The only enemy we’ve ever had are those who create strife for their own benefit. Any group targeted with bigotry and hate ought to be defended by those who can, regardless of the personal cost. It’s just the right thing to do.

And by “right,” I don’t mean moral, or political, or religious, or anything of the sort. The “right” thing is the one that’s both empathetic and ethical, the “right” action has always been one of kindness and understanding.

You want to make a better MMO community? A better gamer culture? Pay attention, then, because that’s how you do it! All it takes is for enough people to stop being cowardly, to crawl out of their holes and commit to a kindness.

If humanity truly is worth anything beyond the supposed divinity valued by narcissists that I’ve become so disenfranchised with, then we best try to live up to that more. For the most part, we can be a shameful species whose only saving grace are those few who choose to be brave enough to be kind.

One’s social standing should never be weighed against another’s life.

Ever.

No matter what the targeted group is being attacked for, it’s your duty as a human being to protect the vulnerable and look out for those who can’t protect themselves.

Because if being human doesn’t mean that, what good is it anyway?

— Edited —

I don’t think I’m done lecturing. Are you ready for sermon 2, kids?

First of all, saying that which is expected of you to hold your social status and doing the “right” thing, as aforementioned, isn’t the same. Some political correctness is fake because it’s become more this game of influence, trying to catch others out to improve one’s own standing and influence as opposed to… oh, I don’t know, helping vulnerable people. Stop that.

Offence doesn’t mater. Pain matters. Suffering matters. As I pointed out, I feel everyone has the right to be free of suffering so long as they aren’t forcing suffering on another. That’s the standard to follow, as it keeps in mind that all marginalised groups have known prejudice.

One example that comes to mind is how redheads are being replaced by black people, which is a very surreptitious, sly way to get rid of a marginalised group that bigoted influencers find even less aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

What’s important to remember with redhead erasure is how redheads are often told they have no soul. The men are regularly informed that they’re too stupid for most jobs, ugly, that they drag their knuckles, that they’re drunken and angry. The women are told that they’re equally as dim, and that they look like sexpots which means their greatest potential is as sex workers.

As such, redhead erasure is an especially embittering thing to them as it just shows how little the world cares for what they have to go through. This is what I mean when I say we should keep in mind all groups who’re vulnerable, who’ve been marginalised and made to suffer. There is no distinction. And it’s incredibly wrong to make one.

What should we do, then? Suggest black people not have a place in media? No. One would ask, instead, why is it that those with blond, brown, or black hair and of Caucasian descent aren’t replaced? As one example, in the case of the Flash, why Wally West and not Barry Allen?

There are no good excuses because there are no excuses, period. What I want to see is faux political correctness where it’s all word games, political plays, and foul manipulation replaced with more meaningful acts of kindness.

We can all try to be better.

Why am I doing this? I dunno! I mean, I suppose it’s because Gamers are an incredibly toxic culture, and of gamers? Those who play online games are the very worst of the worst. So if I can make an impact here, it might cause a cascading effect of some kind.

Look, I can dream, can’t I?

At the end of the day, though, we should all want to be better human beings. And being better doesn’t mean hierarchy. It doesn’t mean that I am better than you, or you are better than me. That’s an incredibly toxic, unhealthy way of looking at it. It means we’re asking what we can do, and how we can help. We’re not making assumptions as to what would help and committing to that in order to grow our influence, we ought to be communicating, learning, and understanding.

And we should use what we glean to be more kind. To all people.

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Melissa McDonald

“I was only joking” doesn’t excuse what you said. Though that canard is oft-repeated.

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Toy Clown

I am so happy to see action on this. The rampant bullying with no consequences has to stop and I hope the person that was victimized was able to get some help.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Happens every where, even happened here when Bryan Turner was obviously unraveling mentally, it was a viscous cycle of lashing out on his part while feeling isolated getting him to further lash out when action was taken against him.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

The kid could have faced manslaughter charges if she had gone through with it. He should still face legal recourse imo. Twitch should have a stern policy against these types of acts. Permabans, turning evidence over to police and having an internet global blacklist shared with major social media sites.

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rafael12104

I’m no lawyer, but it certainly seems like there as a degree of endangerment that could be applied.

I like Twitch and generally, they do try and police their streamers including bans and permabans. BUT I’ve noticed that even in permaban situations, Twitch seems to lift those bans 6 months to a year later when all is forgotten. There needs to be consistency and severity if they really are interested in minimizing this behavior.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

Twitch should have a stern policy against these types of acts.

You obviously haven’t spent a lot of time on Twitch. They actually do have such policy, however it is NEVER applied to everyone equally – it all depends on how much money the streamer brings to Twitch and how much outrage some streamer’s behavior generates.

For example, if you’ll remember, there was a streamer who beat up his wife on stream. Twitch’s response? Temporary ban. Then he was unbanned. Only after this generated more outrage – Twitch decided to ban him again:
https://www.dexerto.com/entertainment/twitch-criticized-for-allowing-streamer-who-allegedly-beat-wife-back-on-platform-271094

Another case, where a female streamer was calling someone “faggot” and other words, and where she publicly read the response that Twitch’s Partnership Account Manager has sent to her in this video, calling him a “bitch” and telling everyone how useless he is:
https://livestreamfails.com/post/35760

Twitch’s response? A temporary ban. She is now continuing to stream on her Twitch channel like nothing has ever happened ;-)

So yea… I wouldn’t put much trust into Twitch’s actions and policies ;-)

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Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

I’m sure the streamers apology would have been SO meaningful to the girls family had she listened…

The sheer inhumanity of some people never ceases to disappoint me. Whether or not you can understand or relate to a persons issues should not be a deciding factor in whether you are able to show compassion for them and therefore tread lightly..

Frankly the Ban is the least this person deserves and he should accept it with some dignity instead of trying to view himself the victim in his own ridiculous debacle.

As for the girl, I hope she is recieving the help she needs. Mental Health is no joke.

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Melissa McDonald

I sometimes think the internet is like that cacophony of demonic voices you hear in “The Exorcist” where they are all speaking at once and you hear one of them say “Let her die!”

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rafael12104

Heh. Read up on this. It is a fucking disgrace that this is the internet world we live in. A few highlights.

-after the incident, the guy was bragging that he wouldn’t get banned by Twitch and that his viewership went up and ad revenue went up. “I’m making $70 an hour. Lol!”

-Once he got banned. His mods helped him craft that letter and he donated a piss poor 200 bucks to a suicide prevention charity. Pathetic.

-He was having fun at the poor girl’s (the victim) expense with his mods by ridiculing her. Joking? This wasn’t a oneliner.

So, this bastard lost his ability to make money via Twitch. Well deserved. The problem is that Twitch has a habit of lifting permabans after a while. This should be permanent, as in forever.

I applaud Jagex for taking quick action and Twitch for following through.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

I can sort of understand if he did this in his chat, but to call that person directly in somebody else’s chat? That’s 10 times worse.