Over 1300 devs, pubs and critics sign open letter condemning "hateful, harassing speech"

It's been a hugely depressing few weeks for the games industry, with critic Anita Sarkeesian being driven from her home by online threats and abuse, among other horrible events. Influential figures including Tim Schafer, Joss Whedon, Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann and Saints Row 4 developer Steve Jaros have stood up in support of Sarkeesian and the importance of self-examination, and against campaigns of online harassment, but there's obviously more that needs to be done.

To that end, an open letter condemning harassment and threats of violence in the gaming community, created by Andreas Zecher of Spaces of Play, has attracted 1382 signatures and counting from individuals working for Ubisoft, Bungie, Sony, Harmonix, 2K, Infinity Ward, BioWare, Blizzard, Microsoft, Riot, Splash Damage, Trion Worlds, Double Fine, Epic, Paradox, Mojang and look, I'm going to run out of space here. It's an enormous list, including a lot of independent developers and publishers, critics and press too.

While adding your name to a list doesn't guarantee any sort of change, it's an encouraging step to see this letter grow so quickly, and frankly any sort of positive action is heartening after weeks of hateful, angry and defensive comments being thrown around on social media. Here's the letter in full. It's entirely reasonable.

"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. 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. Thank you."

(Thanks to Kotaku , from whom I nicked the above image.)

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.