Kotaku exposes the creeps of game streaming, plus the update on Elvine you didn’t want

    
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This guy, dudes.

At the beginning of the month, we were all horrified to cover the news that a Twitch streamer and (now former) Hi-Rez employee, Thomas “Elvine/Elvinelol” Cheung had been arrested and charged with a felony for using a “computer service to seduce, solicit, lure or entice child to commit illegal act.” Cheung was one of 20-odd men arrested as part of a multi-month multi-bureau undercover sting investigation in Georgia dubbed “Operation Interception,” and it boiled over in not just the SMITE community but the World of Warcraft and EVE Online communities as well, since Cheung had worked in all three in addition to streaming.

Kotaku’s Cecilia D’Anastasio has up a new piece this week that runs down more of the sordid details of Cheung’s charges as well as chronicles witness accounts of his relevant activities prior to the arrest, including four who claimed “Cheung had been using his position of power in the Warcraft community to cross boundaries with women for years.” According to Kotaku, the warrant for his specific arrest was filed after he arranged to meet a 14-year-old girl (part played by an undercover officer) for raw sex. Ugggg.

The rest of Anastasio’s piece may be eye-opening for folks who don’t watch a lot of Twitch or aren’t tuned into the underbelly of the online world, as it includes multiple accounts from women who interacted with a popular edgelord Twitch streamer from Method accused of taking his misogynistic edgelord act way too far with women and underage girls. Method, probably best known to our readership as being the most prominent World of Warcraft raiding guild that’s long since branched out to esports and sponsorships, said it had no evidence of wrongdoing and advised anyone with evidence to go to the police.

It’s a very different message from the one being sent by the company Discord, whose popular gaming-oriented chat client apparently came up in about 3% of the child predation reports made in New Jersey alone last year. Discord itself says it will investigate every report and will not privilege streamers and gaming personalities: “Any inappropriate or predatory conduct is absolutely forbidden.”

Feel free to drop your favorite eye bleach in the comments below.

Source: Kotaku. With thanks to Jauffins.

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NecroFox4

It’s really infuriating that there are so many horrible people involved in my most treasured culture. Here’s some much-needed eyebleach…

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Toy Clown

Let’s see…

In BDO, a couple solicited cash shop items in general chat for anyone that wanted to see the girlfriend play BDO naked on Twitch.

In FFXIV, there’s a guy that hangs out in the newbie area hitting up new female players popping in, giving them outfits so they can change in front of him, which leads to dragging the players into Discord for a “free outfit”.

Those are the most recent things I’ve seen in the past few months. Doesn’t count receiving personal tells from people wanting to see my character’s outfits in BDO and asking if I ERP in FFXIV.

There are so many predators out there now, and the playground is ripe with youngsters wanting their first taste of sexuality. I really feel for people that have kids, because if I had kids and saw anyone solicit my kid sexually in a game, I’d go Rambo. Literally. I’d be at the police station, I’d turn in gaming names to the FBI, and go on a name-and-shame campaign. I’m so damn tired of these predators.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

As a female player who grew up playing online games from the age of about 8, I can say that we don’t normally let our parents know when something happens.

My first thoughts were that my Parents would take away my Internet, so I was all about hiding what was happening online. That’s a pretty average thought too.

I was not only naive, but very shy and polite, I didn’t tell them off as I should have. I didn’t turn them in as I should have. I experienced this far too often on games when I was younger. I gave out info too easily. I signed up to FaceBook early lying about my age, let people see me when I shouldn’t have. I went on voice chat and, well, the things I heard still bother me to this day. The last thing I want to do is use voice chat with any strangers now.

There was a time I wrote some posts in some forums trying to help younger girls coming up online to avoid the kind of stuff that I did. How to know when people are manipulating, what you should do, etc. I was taking my mistakes and knowledge of being that young girl and applying them to others to help avoid going through what I did. I didn’t save them though and was still pretty young at the time I did write them. I should probably write up some new articles today about it all for younger girls coming up online.

I’m not a young child anymore, but I still experience people pushing me for information I don’t want to give and too many people looking for relationships after knowing nothing about me other than my gender. I use gender-neutral names most of the time now and don’t even correct people usually if they assume I’m a guy because really I’d rather they would. It’s relaxing and I actually get to play the games and enjoy them when people think I’m a guy.

I’m here to play games with people, nothing more. Most people respect that or are the same way, but everybody is online and too many who don’t respect that seem to always find us somehow. There is a crazy amount of predators out there working all the time.

I have often thought that I should straight out lie and say I’m a guy to them and they’d leave me alone, but should I have to do that? I’m not a crossdressing guy, and no offense if you are – more power to you, but I’m not, and I don’t feel like I should have to pretend to be. Yet sometimes that seems like one of the few options to be able to relax and play and not deal with people looking for girls online.

I honestly don’t get female players who say they haven’t experienced this, considering just how often I have. Am I a magnet for these kinds of people? It has happened so much and still happens often! I’m no longer the naive little girl that gives out real life info to everybody but it still happens. Especially when I refuse to give my age, I guess they think maybe I’m not doing so because I’m young. It’s just so frustrating. Maybe they see something about me that’s easy to push and manipulate and I don’t firmly tell them off, I try to be too polite about it, when really I shouldn’t.

One thing I probably need to do is to get comfortable with lying.

Well I got off subject a bit, I meant to only talk about it happening to underage girls and my experiences when younger. Now I’ve got myself all flustered and a bit upset and lost my train of thought so I’m going to have to cut it off here :D

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Toy Clown

I relate to a lot of your experience, just that I started with the internet when I was in my early 30’s, which was 20 years ago or so. It doesn’t change that icky feeling when a predator gets ahold of you, regardless of age. It just makes me really angry when children are the targets because they need a better shot at life than learning to be used by predators for sexual misconduct.

It’s not abnormal and you’re not a magnet. Well, in a way we are as predators look for people with loose / no boundaries, people who are shy and often fearful. Young people haven’t started establishing their boundaries yet because they haven’t experienced life to a degree that gives us the experience to create those boundaries. We’re largely shaped by our experiences with others through our 20s and 30s. Some people are faster at it than others, some slower.

I’ve experienced a lot through my time on the internet and the boundaries I have up the tightest are 1) I’m not looking for romance online. 2) I’m not looking for cyber-sex experiences.

Like you, I’ve tried to figure out how to get these people to leave me alone and went through a phase of playing male characters. That stopped when I got sexually accosted in group chat by 3 female characters in SWG while dancing in a cantina for buffs. It was a catalyst to realize that no matter what I do, there are predators out there and I knew then that I needed to learn to recognize predators and return to playing what I want. I no longer hide the fact I’m female, but I don’t advertise it and don’t correct anyone who calls me “dude”. I learned that’s another predator behavior, to call people dude until you get a female piping up upset that they’re not a dude. Predators love to bait women out by calling them dudes, then doting on them, and it goes downhill from there.

After a really bad stalker issue that followed me from SWG into SW:TOR and exploded in a way that deeply defined my boundaries, I learned that these people have no shame and they just don’t care about anything but getting their rocks off. That’s when my boundaries started firming up and I learned to spot red flags.

The best advice I can give to anyone that is victimized is don’t be ashamed of what happened, deal with your emotions and move on. Learn from it and don’t hide out of fear of attracting more predators. Learn to say no. Even if your hands are shaking and your squeezing your eyes shut when you type it out, just do it. Document everything, even if you never use it, keep it in a safe place in case something happens. I was lucky that I kept the messages from that guy threatening suicide if I didn’t speak to him, and how he kept making new characters every time I blocked one to speak to me. I documented him making 26 characters. I documented him going to my friends, pretending we were friends and finding out my movements. I had screenshots. And when he had convinced his entire guild and a good portion of the community I was part of that I was stalking him, I took all that evidence and first showed it to his guild leaders, who promptly removed him from the guild, apologized to me, and left me alone. From there, I turned everything over to employees at EA who then banned him from the game. After that, I released the documents on a forum to show everyone what was going on, and people no longer harassed me for being “a stalker”, as he made me out to be. All of this was due to a sexual predator that preyed on me because I had no boundaries, was open, was afraid to say no.

I urge anyone in this situation to find someone to talk to. You’ll find that you aren’t the only one and through sharing, we can heal together, and protect each other from predators.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

Whether it’s human ethics or mental illness, ignoring it with ‘eye bleach’ and feel good context is not going to resolve issues like this. We are flawed, haven’t evolved enough yet as a society to have nice things or live in a civil manner.

Knowing this is the core reason I use video games as an escape from society. What wierds me out at times is I’m doing some of the same things in video games society deems uncivil.

Irony is funny. Here’s a picture of people who have done positive things for society. comment image

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Bruno Brito

I miss you,Mr. Ross.

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Armsbend

Neil Tyson has got his own sex abuse/misconduct/whatever problems right now. So double irony?

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Utakata

Although the slogan here seems to promote education as opposed to as a counter message to creeps and predators. So I am not sure why it’s being used in the first place for this topic.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

Kittens and ducklings aren’t fix misconducts but perhaps some of the people in that image have made a positive impact on someone who may have otherwise gone down a darker path in life.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

Who would’ve thought that Twitch streamers are also humans, some with same flaws as you can see in people who do not stream? Very shocking and revealing! /sarcasm

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Armsbend

Soliciting kids for “raw sex” goes a bit beyond human flaw in my opinion. The point of this exercise is to point out they are using Twitch as a tool to promote their criminal, vile behavior. Vile people exist – but not all of them are well known like these human mistakes.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

using Twitch as a tool to promote their criminal, vile behavior

First of all you can’t do that – try saying to your viewers something like “hey girls/guys, if you’re underaged – I’m looking at meeting with you, contact me!” and see how long you will last. Hint: you’ll be banned on the same day.

As for using a popularity of your person to intentionally or unintentionally attract fans to yourself – this is not different than doing it in, for example, games like FFXIV. Which also has its share of creepy or predatory people (just like many other online games or online communities). Why isn’t Kotaku using more examples like these instead of trying to single out very specific platforms like Twitch:
https://the-geek-spot.blogspot.com/2018/06/ff14-moogle-post-founder-accused-of.html ?
Or simply give a simple advice that parents should do their duty better in terms of monitoring the communication of their children with any online person, regardless of method of communication, without trying to target specific platforms with clickbait titles like “when your favorite streamer turns out to be bad” or using quotes like “We’ve seen a lot of cases where predators go into Discord to groom children”? Sure, they also casually mention few other platforms BUT they give much stronger emphasis to “streamers on Twitch” and to Discord (as opposed to other communication tools) and that’s just wrong.

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

Parents are guilty and a child predator is “also a human” “with flaws”, is it so? Just fucking wow. I’m done with the internet for today.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

Parents are guilty and a child predator is “also a human” “with flaws”, is it so? Just fucking wow. I’m done with the internet for today.

If that’s the only thing you got from it – then yes, you definitely should.

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

These two things were quite enough man.

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

Isn’t that just grim. Both Cheung and MethodJosh sound like the sort of guys you read about on [particularly awful subreddits]. Creepy entitled predators.

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rafael12104

Bleach is not enough… ugh.

So Twitch is not a playground. You really have to monitor your kids with regard to who they follow and watch on Twitch. There is more than misogyny in streams from certain vial individuals. Oh, and that applies to both sexes. I guess the same could be said for most social media. But as Twitch is live, it adds another dimension.

As for Cheung? A predator. That’s what he is. I’m sad to say that there are probably many unreported offenses committed by the scum bag.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

You really have to monitor your kids with regard to who they follow and watch on Twitch.

Yes, yes and yes! That’s the most important part many people ignore about articles like these.

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Armsbend

I assume neither of you have kids. If you did, you’d know that you can’t monitor their activities 24/7. More importanly, as a parent, you shouldn’t want to. Every kid needs the freedom to become an interesting, balanced adult – so that means leaving them alone when you can.

So. That leaves us to do our best to root out the problem, break their faces until their teeth are left dangling in a bloody, sinewy mess and move on to the next.

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rafael12104

That’s fair. I’m not a parent. But some of the stuff on Twitch is obscene even though Twitch tries to police it. Those VR chat rooms? Holy shit. Even I come away a little embarrassed watching those clips.

Everyone does their best. But many parents don’t know what Twitch is and they think Youtube is harmless.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

you can’t monitor their activities 24/7

That’s true, but there are many activities that you can. And you don’t have to be annoying with that by saying something like “you are not allowed to watch this”, instead you can just try and explain what is wrong with what the person is watching and why and how your kid should react to it. This is still much better than passively letting your kid do everything or watch everything or be overly restrictive “just because I said so” with 0 explanation or any conversations.

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Armsbend

But in the case of Twitch – which probably 80%+ of teenagers (made up number) are watching now – isn’t something you want to take away from them completely. You don’t want to be the parents who doesn’t let their kids watch tv because either you are enlightened or you want to make your children losers like you.

Are you going to make sure they are with friends when they say they are going out? Maybe look behind their shoulders when they are on the phone? Sure – but most normal people want their kids to be normal – experiment, find their own way etc. but we also want to root our the real scumbags of the world – and we do our best to do it. All society really needs to. Not to get all ‘it takes a village’ but we were all 13 once.

anyway, i think we all agree for the most part :)

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

But in the case of Twitch – which probably 80%+ of teenagers (made up number) are watching now – isn’t something you want to take away from them completely. 

Yes, of course, like I said – there is no need to take it completely away but you should still monitor what and whom they watch. You can still explain to them (in a way they can comprehend) things like what the streamer is doing wrong or why your kid shouldn’t copy this behavior (especially when it comes to very obvious shit like drinking alcohol or even vaping or using specific words or being disrespectful towards anyone) or how many streamers only pretend to care about you as a person or pretend to like games and certain items/peripherals, without being overly annoying or overprotective about it ;-) Same goes for other things.

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Armsbend

It’s a really tough call. if you ever read interviews of some of society’s most interesting people. Heavy actors, thinkers, intellectuals, artists etc one common theme you’ll find is they were largely left alone growing up. Almost to a fault but when you read their bios most people think, “How romantic! The life they had and have now!”

But then it’s your own kid and you helicopter them to death or have the internet mobs come out and say, “WATCH YOUR TRASHY KIDS ALL THE TIME BAD PARENT YOU!!!!” while looking at their phones worshipping their idols filled with true freedom they will never possess.

I’m not even talking to you all when I type this. It is an internal struggle, obsession even, I face every day and my kid isn’t even 5 yet. Safety vs. Freedom. I know which one they will appreciate more and which one they will hate me for – but if one has the result of her being in a ditch at some point…what do really?

Tough questions for real. I was a Catholic tough kid growing up we learned at a young age how to dodge priests and dodge creeps. So at 12, 13, 14 it wasn’t a big deal…we knew how to avoid and we could also back up our shit with muscle if we needed to – which we did from time to time. But now I dunno.

heh, that’s enough.

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Maggie May

I feel you, at least you are aware of the issues. As a parent of adult kids, I can tell you it doesn’t get easier. The teenage years were hell, and those years …. well the most important thing there is open communication. If they, or you shut down on that, you will never know whats going on with them.

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kgptzac

So we got at least one parent at MOP thinks she grew up in a different environment is a valid excuse to lash out society of now should do more to help her parenting. Very classic.

FYI, Twitch’s TOS requires viewer at least be 13 years old. I don’t think it has a parental control system yet, though I very doubt asking to check which channel your kids are following is a human rights violation to the parents.

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Siphaed

I think this article needs a correction. Instead of “Ugggg.”, I think it needs an “Ewww.”, followed by some derogatory descriptive, a few swear words, “how disgusting”, the word “pervert”, and a “burn in hell”(if it exists) for good measure.

Also, blaming the platform Discord for perverts using its chat systems is overboard. In the early 2000’s they were using text chat rooms and forums when Chris Hanson was catching them in To Catch a Predator. Now if Discord wasn’t properly taking reports seriously, banning people from its platform, then I’d fully agree to lay the blame on them. But if they’re doing their part to keep their platform clean for all, they shouldn’t take the heat.

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Greaterdivinity

raw sex

Man, reading this outside of hilarious doujin text snippets out makes it sound way dumber and more gross.

I didn’t think I wanted to know more about this, and after reading I’m not sure I didn’t want to know more about this. Curse you, lack of self control early in the morning. Oh well, I don’t have eye bleach readily available so I suppose this will do.
comment image

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styopa

It’s ALMOST like it’s a bad idea to put minors and adult (men, tbh) in unsupervised private communication with each other?

Pish-tosh, I’m being all old-fashioned and Victorian again.

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blahlbinoa .

and women, they are just as evil as any other human can be

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styopa

But let’s be honest, they’re generally less predatory to children. Not NOT, just much less.

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Utakata

…but rarely given the chance to be?

I’m not sure what your point is though. Or is that dog whistle you’re attempting to blow a little off key? o.O

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Schmidt.Capela

More like we have centuries of culture that look at men having sex with as many women as possible as positive, something to be proud of and brag about, while looking at women having sex to as many men as possible as something to be ashamed of. We seem to be changing this, thankfully, though it’s still happening too slowly IMHO.

On the other hand, the cases that do exist where the predator is a woman are just as gross, and when revealed should be prosecuted with just as much zeal as when the perpetrator is a man.

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Utakata

I am aware of that, but I am not sure why this is being brought up.

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Fervor Bliss

Publishers need to be held responsible for the content they publish.
Sorry to say I am not surprised by this happening at all. Misogyny is nothing new to Twitch, Reddit so on.

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Eliandal

It’s unbelievable that in this day, knowing what we do about detection, that people still think they’re smarter and won’t be caught.(thankfully they are). I know there are people with problems, but it still sickens me :/!

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Armsbend

I think it is a matter of vile people having to fufill their needs. They likely can’t stop – even if they wanted to. They weren’t born with the black box in their head that says, “no.” Or they never listened to it.