Technology

Desktop emulator review blew up, developers say moderation ‘failed’

Berserk Games, developer tabletop simulator, sparked controversy this week after a gay transgender user shared his experiences with the moderation team. The user, who engages with XoeAllred on Twitter, claims that she has been banned from the global chat for referring to herself as trans and gay. This user and others have shared screenshots showing tabletop simulator Ban any user who says “I’m gay”. Controversy swirled around this situation on Twitter and in the comments section of Steam, where two competing “review bombing” campaigns had an impact on the game’s rating. As a result of, tabletop simulatorThe global chat functionality is now down, and the developer says it’s reevaluating its moderation policies.

tabletop simulator It was officially launched in 2015 after a successful crowdfunding campaign and early access period on Steam. Early on, there wasn’t a lot of content in the game, but the tool itself – which allows players to digitally recreate board games, card games and miniature games, while blending in some physics simulations – showed promise. When the pandemic shutdown began in March 2020, the game took off, jumping from just over 5,000 concurrent players to over 36,000 in three months. Today many game designers rely on tabletop simulator As a valuable tool for rapid prototyping, remote play testing, community outreach, and even marketing for their crowdfunding campaigns.

through it all, tabletop simulatorThe unique global chat system welcomed players into its crowded and sometimes noisy lobby upon first login. XoeAllred was one of those players – until she received a temporary ban for mentioning in a global chat that she was transgender and gay.

In a Google document that I shared online, XoeAllred described how on several occasions I tried to deal directly with the moderators team within the game client and within Berserk Games’ official Discord server about this issue. The same document also shows screenshots of chat logs and emails, as their arguments appear to have been either defended or silenced. Automated tools have made simply typing the word “gay” into the chat client a crime that cannot be blocked.

Berserk Games, which has not yet responded to Polygon’s request for comment, may be aiming to ban the use of “gay” as a derogatory term, although the use of “trans” has apparently led to a similar ban. Regardless, this moderation tool denied players like XoeAllred the ability to describe basic facts about themselves in that space.

In its Google document detailing these incidents, XoeAllred wrote, “At a basic level, this means that it is impossible to find a queer community in chat, or request gay games in chat. You cannot ask for games that include gay/transgender representation or about the experiences of Gay/Transgender people because you’ll be kicked out. It’s against their rules.”

“Identity suppression tells these people that it is not safe to be themselves in those places,” she continued.

Initially, when XoeAllred disclosed the shortcomings of the company’s moderation policies, Berserk Games issued a statement that seemed defensive. “tabletop simulator Supports the LGBTQ+ community,” says a statement on January 8 on Twitterincluding profiling games with LGBTQ+ themes and designers and writers as well as having members of the LGBTQ+ community to work on [sic] Text-to-speech Live.” Finally, after seeing more evidence of her treatment on its official Discord website, the company changed its tune. On January 9, it released official apology They pledged to take the necessary measures. The first step was to turn off the global chat.

Berserk Games said, “We want to once again reaffirm our commitment to inclusivity in everything we do.” on TwitterI would like to apologize for dealing with a user who has been banned [sic] from global chat. […] Subsequent messages about why this ban occurred do not reflect beliefs or feelings tabletop simulator. tabletop simulator He did not and does not condone equating sexual orientation/gender identity with fetishes, politics or anti-family sentiment.”

“We have decided to cancel the global chat, as we are clearly reassessing our oversight process,” she continued. [sic] We have some shortcomings.” You can read the full statement of Berserk Games on Twitter.

Meanwhile, more than 1,500 reviews have streamed onto Steam in the past few days alone, reflecting the opinions of players for and against tabletop simulatorActions with respect to content moderation. Many condemn the developer’s actions, with some likening Berserk Games’ financial support to condoning hate speech. Opposing views range from bemoaning the “wake up” to violent hate speech. These are the reviewers who submitted tabletop simulator excellent. They might be surprised to see Berserk Games’ public messaging, which clearly does not support these views.

tabletop simulator Community, hear from you and everyone tabletop simulator The team prioritizes our commitment to making Text-to-speech Berserk Games said at the conclusion of its January 9 statement on Twitter. “Feedback and communication from the community is a key aspect of learning and improvement. Over time we hope to regain your trust and respect again.”

Even with these public statements, the tabletop simulator The page on Steam remains suffocated with vulgar and offensive threads. Speaking with Polygon via email, XoeAllred says she’s had enough.

“I have absolutely no plans to use it tabletop simulatorI have uninstalled it completely.” “I have already found another platform that better suits my needs. Specifically screentop.gg. “

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