Over 700 game developers including EA, Ubisoft and Australia’s Flat Earth Games have signed an open letter to the gaming community, appealing for an end to “hateful” and “harassing speech” and calling for an appreciation of diversity in the industry.
“We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened,” reads the letter. “It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish.”
The letter follows a fraught period for the gaming community with multiple reports emerging about women in the industry that have had their sites hacked, been threatened and stalked.
As the creator of the site Feminist Frequency, gaming vlogger Anita Sarkeesian publishes her analysis of the depiction of women in pop culture, focussing especially on gaming. As reported by the Washington Post, she was forced to flee her own home this week, after she and her family received rape and death threats from angry gamers.
This follows the much reported plight of Zoe Quinn, the maker of the Steam game Depression Quest, who has also had to leave her home, after suffering a barrage of abuse over the web.
Now prominent figures in the gaming world have responded with their open letter, published overnight, asking gamers to take a stand against these threats of violence and hate speech in the community.
“If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites,” it reads. “If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in.”
To add your name to the letter and to check out the full list of people who have signed their name to the cause, head here.