A videogame subreddit shut down and users lost it
The r/games subreddit was turned off on April Fool’s Day, but it was no prank
Around the world, April 1 is the international day of pranks. People live for the day, waiting to pull some type of joke on a friend or loved one, or even a complete stranger. In some cases, though, what may seem like a prank might be something completely different and certain Reddit users found this out the hard way.
The r/games subreddit stopped yesterday. Users were not able to submit new posts and comments on existing posts were not allowed, either. The initial reaction, given the day, would have certainly been one of perhaps mild annoyance, which would have led to frustration over the realization that it was an April Fool’s Day prank. However, it wasn’t.
The decision to shut down the subreddit was made by its moderators in an effort to show solidarity and to protest what they see as an increase in abusive, discriminatory behavior that has become common in the gaming community.
The moderators explained, “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 de-escalation, that’s when, put simply, something’s got to give.”
Anyone who has spent any time on social media knows that the toxicity extends beyond the video game community. Too often, social media users become keyboard bullies, pumped by the fact that they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to become abusive while knowing the entire time that they would never talk that way if they were face to face with their target.
The moderators continued, “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.”