For gamers, combating online abuse not easy

While most attendees of Penny Arcade Expo come to the boisterous convention to play games, bag swag and meet like-minded people, a few take the time to investigate online bullying and why it's so prevalent among the gaming community.

Therapist Stacey Weber, herself a gamer, is a bit mystified.

"It just doesn't make sense," said Weber, who was part of a Saturday talk at PAX Prime called "Not Us, Not Here: Examining Bullying, Harassment and Misogyny."

"When we pick up our games, we delve into these whole new worlds where there's a multitude of various species and ways of being," Weber said. "Difference is the norm, so how come this community seems so intolerant of difference?"

The discussion at the four-day, sold-out convention, which ends Monday and is expected to draw about 85,000 gamers, follows a week of several reports of online harassment of developers and personalities in the gaming community.

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NovusTerminus1178d ago

The problem lies in saying it is an issue with gaming.

Social Media, School bullying, hostile work environment, Soccer (Football) or sports riots in general. it's just something that happens, but to exclude it as an issue in gaming is a foolish thing to do, and no different then saying that gaming causes violence.

Is it a problem with gaming? Yes, but no more then any other medium out there, just scroll through Twitter, Facebook, or most forums on the net, Facebook has had murders over it. A women burned down someones house because they unfriended her.

for her to be a Therapist, and to say it's just gaming is humorous, it's just nature.

Jocks picking on geeks? Yeah, that's been around for a while, most people picking on goth's, that's still around. And mostly done in person and far more harmful. Overweight people being harassed? Still there, and these are just a few.

I have depression, it sucks but overall, however over the net is a far more harmless way, all they do is trash talk (Excluding Swatting, but that's another post entirely.) then in person where it becomes psychical torture, rather then just some random guy screaming at you.

randomass1711178d ago

There is a gross misunderstanding about people who love video games but the media loves picking out the bad eggs and using them to represent all gamers. It's tiresome and depressing to say the least. For the minority of psychos who like games there are millions of normal, regular people who play, discuss and love video games who also mean no harm.

thorstein1178d ago

Absolutely. Well Said. I don't combat this garbage, I just avoid it by joining communities that don't do it... and there are many.

Perhaps that is why it seems so prevalent: the more mature, fun loving people are off gaming with large groups of like minded people.

Beetey1178d ago

Well said. Another important issue that should be brought up is that, by definition, gaming is a competitive environment. For better or worse, trash talking will always be an element of that. Do people go way to far sometimes? Sure, and this is unfortunate and takes away from the fun that video games provide. However, even in the healthiest of competitions, people WILL talk trash. While this is of course different than bullying, I think many people that have nothing to do with gaming fail to fully understand the competitive environment of gaming and therefore often seeing bullying in situations where it isn't present.

3-4-51177d ago

The Media loves making everybody but themselves look bad.

No integrity anymore.

Ares84HU1178d ago

Mute everyone. Problem solved.

Spotie1177d ago (Edited 1177d ago )

I really wish people would stop pretending it's more serious in gaming than elsewhere. I don't really understand why gaming is expected to be devoid of these things that are part and parcel of being human beings.

It's like these folks never went to high school.

Deadpool6161177d ago (Edited 1177d ago )

How do gamers fight online bullying when it comes from some of the gaming journalist within the video game industry? I was really shocked by the abusive insults they started to label with gamers in general. It's really disturbing to see it come from sources gamers are suppose to trust.