A wave of accusations of harassment in video games

Une vague d’accusations de harcèlement dans les jeux vidéo

SAN FRANCISCO | The video games industry through a episode #MeToo since this weekend, while dozens of women have shared on the networks, their experience of discrimination, harassment, or sexual assault by players or people in an environment still very masculine.

“A small stone made thousands of of waves in a pond”, summed up on Twitter Saturday Hollowtide, a player of Destiny that has denounced the actions under the harassment of another player, later identified under the nickname “Womb” and “SayNoToRage”.

Three creative content, in turn, have accused the player to have touched them without their consent or harassed.

Then the word of dozens of others is loosed, anonymously or not, to recount their experience, in some cases, naming the person concerned.

“I don’t know with who or how many times you have tried this maneuver, but this industry is already enough fear without the handlers, who suggest that the [best] way to get to the top, it is to pass by your bed,” concludes, for example, Molly Fender Ayala, who runs a community play Overwatch.

The wave of accusations recalled the case of the “Gamergate” in the United States in 2014, when a debate on the links between journalists and game creators had turned into threats of rape and murder against the processor-independent Zoe Quinn.

But the industry seems to be responding very differently this time, with the outpouring of support, apologies and promises to better regulate the platforms.

“We take very seriously the charges of sexual harassment. We take a close look at the accounts of the relevant creators that are affiliated with Twitch and we will work with law enforcement if necessary,” said Twitch on Twitter Monday.

“We are grateful to those who have had the courage to speak out and we are determined to work to make the community streaming safer for all,” continued the giant platforms of streaming video games, a subsidiary of Amazon.

The first player in question this time, SayNoToRage, for its part, has recorded a video to express his remorse on YouTube.

“There’s no excuse for my behavior […] the things that I did were unacceptable,” he said in front of the camera, evoking the acts dating back to two years ago.

“My selfish behaviour and inappropriate have robbed these people of their ability to feel safe and secure. I have broken the trust and I am deeply sorry.”

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