While the gaming world is busy punking each other with goofy stunts and pranks, /r/games has shut its doors. Don’t worry, internet trolls; it’s only for one day, and it’s for a good cause: to shine a spotlight on some of the dark corners of the industry’s following. It’s effectively a protest against toxicity.
“Though certain memes (such as ‘gamers rise up’) surrounding gaming are largely viewed as a humorous interpretation of a mindset, at the core of the humor is a set of very serious issues that affect all gaming enthusiasts,” the mods write. “By showing disdain or outright rejecting minority and marginalized communities, we become more insular. In this, we lose out on the chance to not only show compassion to these people, but also the chance to grow our own community and diversify the demographics of those involved in it. Whether it’s misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, racism or a host of other discriminatory practices, now is the time to stymie the flow of regressive ideas and prevent them from ever becoming the norm.”
The fleet of mods have even posted an album of some of the worst of what they see on the daily, which sadly won’t surprise anyone who’s ever moderated a gaming community, including me.
“At r/Games, our community is becoming increasingly responsible for perpetuating a significant amount of these combative and derogatory schools of thought. We remove those comments, we ban the perpetrators, but the issue still persists at a fundamental level: the notion that it’s okay or acceptable to ridicule and demonize traditionally disenfranchised and marginalized members in the gaming community. This is not just an issue in r/Games or on Reddit alone; this is an issue deeply embedded in the ranging depths of the internet, frequently in communities that center around the discussion of games.”
Ultimately, the team says it hopes that by closing the sub down for the day, it can both raise awareness of the gaming community’s problems as well as direct the “good eggs” toward charities and causes that deserve it.