Earlier today on Reddit, the /r/Games subreddit page announced that it will be closed for all of April Fools days in order to protest bigotry and vitrolic comments that they see being posted on a daily basic.
After stating that this isn’t an April Fools day joke, the /r/Games moderators explained that their taking things seriously. They explained that they’ve been seeing increasing hostile comments which are making gamers more insular. They noted that memes such as “gamers rise up” while they can be humorous, can be seen to show that “at the core of the humor is a set of very serious issues that affect all gaming enthusiasts. By showing disdain or outright rejecting minority and marginalized communities, we become more insular.” They noted this increased insular view as a problem as it not only stops us from showing compassion to these groups, but it stops gaming as a whole from growing and becoming more diverse.
This, in turn, has led to what they view as an increase in the number of “transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, misogyny, pro-pedophilia/pro-rape, and vitriolic personal attacks against other users.” The /r/Games moderators also included links to an album full of these types of comments to back up their claims, with comments even related to the recent New Zealand shooting.
While the usernames were removed from these comments, the idea wasn’t to name and shame these people as much as to show “how the stark reality that we face on a daily basis in the overall effort to provide a welcoming and responsive community.”
The r/Games post ends with them talking about how to make a difference and started with saying thank you to those “good eggs” in the community. They also asked readers to lend a helping hand to organisations that are standing against the hate at the end of the post. The post ended with them saying “These folks have made it their mission to represent and benefit those who still face their own challenges, obstacles and prejudices, and any assistance they can get is another step forward for their cause.”
The site Kotaku reached out to the moderators for comments. One of the moderators responded by saying that “This is not something we have done for publicity. We believe the post itself presents the combined thoughts of the moderator team and we have no further comment at this time.” They also explained that they will be doing a meta thread this evening to answer the communities questions.
So what do you think of their decision to close the subreddit page for April Fools day? Let us know in the comments below.