r/Games mods close subreddit for April Fools' Day 2019

The moderators of one of the most popular subreddits are taking a stand against toxic internet posters on April Fools' Day 2019. r/Games will remain closed for the entire day.

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One of the most popular destinations for gamers on Reddit is taking a well-deserved day off on April Fools' Day 2019. The moderators of the r/Games subreddit have announced that the forum will be closed for the duration of April 1, 2019 in an effort to "shed some light on a growing, pervasive issue that has affected" the gaming community. 


Here's the full statement from the r/games mods:

/r/Games is closed for April Fool’s. Find out why in here!

Not April Fool’s.

This April Fool’s, we decided to take things a little more seriously and shed some light on a growing, pervasive issue that has affected the community of r/Games and gaming communities as a whole. In recent times, it’s come to our attention that what has been intended to be a forum for the potential spread of knowledge and involvement in video games has instead become a battleground of conflicting ideas. Ordinarily, this isn’t an issue; discussion by its very nature is certain to bring argument, but when that argument descends into vitriolic attacks between individuals on a regular basis with no chance at deescalation, that’s when, put simply, something’s got to give.

Though certain memes (such as “gamers rise up”) surrounding gaming are largely viewed as a humorous interpretation of a mindset, 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. In this, we lose out on the chance to not only show compassion to these people, but also the chance to grow our own community and diversify the demographics of those involved in it. Whether it’s misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, racism or a host of other discriminatory practices, now is the time to stymie the flow of regressive ideas and prevent them from ever becoming the norm.

At r/Games, our community is becoming increasingly responsible for perpetuating a significant amount of these combative and derogatory schools of thought. We remove those comments, we ban the perpetrators, but the issue still persists at a fundamental level: the notion that it’s okay or acceptable to ridicule and demonize traditionally disenfranchised and marginalized members in the gaming community. This is not just an issue in r/Games or on Reddit alone; this is an issue deeply embedded in the ranging depths of the internet, frequently in communities that center around the discussion of games.

What We See

Unfortunately, this inflammatory content is not an infrequent occurrence. The condescending, dismissive, vindictive and pessimistic attitudes we see in our day to day activity is troubling, especially when those interactions involve harassing or outright targeting regularly discriminated communities. It’s not uncommon for us to see the real issues surrounding these communities be trivialized, derided out of ignorance, or worse, for the sake of entertainment.

To that end, we want to show you, the community, what we mean by “what we see”. These are some of the more awful comments we see regarding transphobia, homophobia, islamophobia, racism, misogyny, pro-pedophilia/pro-rape, and vitriolic personal attacks against other users. These kinds of comments occur on a daily basis. We’ve compiled an entire album of examples of the horrible things people say on this subreddit. From bigotry to vitriol, this album merely scratches the surface of the magnitude of the problem.

In the interest of providing examples, we elected to remove the usernames from these comments; instead, our intent is to show the stark reality that we face on a daily basis in the overall effort to provide a welcoming and responsive community. Preventing the cultivation of bigotry means giving it no ground to go to, and as a whole leave only space for those who would respectfully participate. We must closely examine our own communities, in an effort to encourage acceptance and inclusion, to foster a healthy community in which we value empathy and respect.

Do Better; Be Better

Despite the strife that’s both within and caused by our community, there are a multitude of opportunities to prove that we can come together and be a more wholesome, accepting community that exists on a single core idea: enjoying and discussing video games together. Though the industry as a whole has suffered a great deal of trials and tribulations, we also are fortunate enough to be at a point in time in which there seem to be a glut of fantastic games, from major AAA titles down to near-anonymous indie projects that come out of nowhere.

So let’s revel in what’s available to us, and also appreciate the myriad of backgrounds that we as gamers come from. Our differences in experiences comprise the diversity in the content that we consume, and by allowing ourselves to appreciate those differences, we change our perspectives and interpretations; this applies not only in games, but life as a whole.

Let’s not let the good eggs go unnoticed, though: There are plenty of you who, as members of the community, want to take care of one another. Sometimes this means identifying when conversation becomes confrontation, when discussion gets out of hand and turns to name-calling, slurs or other degrading language. To you, we say thank you. You’re what keep us going, you’re who we want to see more of, and you’re everything that is the potential for a strong, open community for those who love and enjoy video games the way we do.

It’s also important to recognize the opportunities not afforded to everyone, as well as the resources available to give them a helping hand. So this April Fool’s, we’re also asking you to take into consideration the idea of helping these organizations out. 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.

LGBT+ Charities:

The Trevor Project

Resource Center

Point Foundation

GLAD

Ali Forney Center

New Alternatives

International Lesbian and Gay Association Europe

Global Rights

POC-focused Charities:

National Civil Rights Museum

Center for Constitutional Rights

Sponsors for Educational Opportunity

Race Forward

Women’s health charities:

Planned Parenthood

Reproductive Health Access Project

Centre for Reproductive Rights

Additional Causes:

Able Gamers

Paws with a Cause

Child's Play

Out of the Closet Thrift Store

Life After Hate


While Reddit may not have the reputation as the most "woke" place on the Internet, it is refreshing to see the moderators of r/Games take a stand against toxic, inflammatory content. The r/Games mods added that "For those curious, yes we will have a meta thread for a discussion when the sub reopens. Stay tuned tomorrow for that." It will be interesting to see how their users respond to today's forced closure. It is easy to assume that this is just another April Fools' Day joke, but this message is very clear and well thought out by the r/Games moderators.

Moderation can be a thankless job, and April 1 is one of the toughest days to deal with gamers as all sorts of fake news headlines spread wildly across the Internet. Hopefully today's closure will draw attention to the charities highlighted by the mods at r/Games, but it seems more likely that angered subreddit posters will come back on April 2 with even more venom and bile. Either way, we tip our fedoras to the r/Games mods for trying to do something about hateful speech on the Internet. 

CEO

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 1, 2019 1:00 AM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, r/Games mods close subreddit for April Fools' Day 2019

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      April 1, 2019 2:09 AM

      Wow, good on them.

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        April 1, 2019 3:00 AM

        The backlash once it reopens will feed r/gamingcirclejerk with content for at least a week

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      April 1, 2019 3:48 AM

      Good. To hear and see. I don't participate in these mega subs but this is good. We cannot stand idly by. That's as good as quiet approval.

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      April 1, 2019 3:50 AM

      Man I thought they were just doing it because they were sick of the stupid pranks

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      April 1, 2019 3:54 AM

      I'm getting tired of seeing "woke" used in articles lately, it's happened 3 or 4 times this past week. There are plenty of other ways of describing those aware of injustices out there.

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        April 1, 2019 3:55 AM

        Other than that I thought it was a good response from Reddit.

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          April 1, 2019 4:32 AM

          from the subreddit, who are community moderators. Nothing to do with reddit administration.

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            April 1, 2019 4:35 AM

            Correct, typing quickly on the phone this morning, I meant Reddit's moderators.

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          April 1, 2019 5:43 PM

          The thing is the comments they linked were a really small minority. They were also heavily downvoted and doesn’t reflect views of the majority of people on that subreddit. Just like with incels they probably have some other subreddit with people who agree with them.

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        April 1, 2019 4:40 AM

        Well people lose their fucking mind over the term SJW, so....... there needs to be a descriptive word for it?

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          April 1, 2019 4:49 AM

          People with morals. Decent humans.

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            April 1, 2019 5:00 AM

            Sure, but we /still/ need a 1 word nickname. We're reductive about everything and everyone else on the internet.

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        April 1, 2019 8:26 AM

        It's the word in common parlance for that meaning. You haven't really said why you don't like seeing it on why a different term should be preferred. This particular usage seems especially appropriate and in-context.

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        April 1, 2019 2:44 PM

        I'm old dammit! I need terms from my generation!

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      April 1, 2019 4:59 AM

      Well that's awesome.

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      April 1, 2019 8:28 AM

      Super awesome of them to do that

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      April 1, 2019 8:42 AM

      holy crap, the album of posts

      so gross

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      April 1, 2019 5:56 PM

      Hey guys, what’s going on in this thread?

      https://i.boring.host/VQAhTCp.jpeg

    • reply
      April 1, 2019 6:10 PM

      This thread seems to be doing good.

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      April 1, 2019 7:02 PM

      Lol wat is this thread

    • reply
      April 2, 2019 11:30 AM

      Thanks Reddit mods for ruining this thread

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