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Open letter to end hate in gaming community hits 2,000 signatures from devs

The video game industry has come together to end the hate in the gaming community.
The video game industry has come together to end the hate in the gaming community.
Photo courtesy of Flickr, used with permission.

Tuesday, an open letter to end online abuse and hate-speech from the gaming community has reached over 2,000 signatures from members of the video game industry.

Independent game designer Andreas Zecher wrote up the open letter issued at the gaming community Monday, which currently sits at 2,419 signatures. "We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened," states the open letter. "It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish. 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. If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in."

Big-named gaming studios such as Rockstar North, Naughty Dog, Bungie, 343 Industries, Bioware, Ubisoft and more are among those listed in the letter, alongside independent game designers. The open letter, which spans name from North America and Europe, also feature video game journalists from websites like IGN, GameSpot, and Eurogamer. Those involved in the video game industry are encouraged to contact Zecher to have their names included in the open letter.

The open letter that takes aim at the ugly side of the video game community comes after recent news of online abuse and death threats to those who work or commentate on the business. Recent victims of abuse include "Depression Quest" game designer Zoe Quinn and Phil Fish of "Fez." The most well known victim of online harassment is Feminist Frequency‘s Anita Sarkeesian, as her "Tropes vs. Video Games" series made her the number one target of misogynists gamers. Her recent video examining the use of female video game characters as backdrop decorations resulted in a terrifying death threat that forced the online commentator to leave her house and contact the authorities.