Should gaming forums be moderated more?


“NeoGAF was briefly taken down after a tweet accused its founder, Tyler Malka, of assault. Mr Malka recovered control of his site and denies the allegations. Some users have started to separate themselves from the community. Some people are using this as a chance to further their case that community websites should have more rigorous regulating systems.

Whilst this is a good idea in theory, and rigorous policing sounds good on paper, this is not the case in practice. Some people may argue that this could stop problems that may arise due to a lack of monitoring, yet this ignores the potentially dangerous realities of implementing such a programme.

If more moderation was enforced on gaming forums, it would kill the sense of togetherness these forums provide, for several reasons. Whilst many people may nod their head at the idea of this proposal, take a minute and think about the implications behind it. Increased moderation sets a dangerous precedent; it may start off well, but it has the very real possibility to go too far. If you hand people the powers of policing people’s stated thoughts and ideas, things are going to get very bad, very quickly. If you start censoring people because they said something offensive online people will desert the community in their droves. Gaming is about enjoyment for all, and whilst this is something that should be adhered to, thought-policing is not the way to do that.

Then there is the problem of the basis behind gamers’ current arguments. Strip away some claims and at the heart of it lies an accusation. Nothing more. If we start banning people based purely on accusations, we are essentially going to destroy everything that makes gaming fun. No-one wants to game online, for fear of saying the wrong thing because someone might get offended and they subsequently get banned. If you attempt to monitor video games and their communities too much, the market will go downhill at a speed that would make terminal velocity jealous.

Video games are meant to be a relaxing, enjoyable experience played in the spirit of fun, not an Orwellian reality where free speech is restricted in case it may offend.” – Patrick Wiseman


“Given, it doesn’t take much to lay on a claim in the internet age, but it’s just as worrying to think that some people could continue to be involved with the gaming community despite potentially having a track history of harassment or abuse.

We do not want a situation where abusers are the ones deciding which threads remain active on a forum (and which are taken down). It must be asked how positive any sense of togetherness preserved by this actually is.

This is an issue which impacts many gaming communities and is not just confined to one forum. Some users of one website allege they have had their content sold without permission, and on one forum a moderator scrutinized a child abuse survivor for criticising threads encouraging paedophilia. If lack of moderation is leading to the encouragement of harmful lifestyles and the appropriation of others’ property, surely this is as much a threat to togetherness as rigorous policing systems?” – Charlie Nicholson


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November 2021
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