Inclusion:WotC Takes Action Against Player Harassment

Wizards of the Coast moves against harassing players, and leads in the industry in actions to promote inclusion.

Over the last several days some major moves have taken place in the gaming industry regarding player inclusion and harassment.  We have seen words and anti-harassment policies for a while across the industry from manufacturers to major events. But strong action is taking place and I have  feeling it will only be the beginning. Here’s what has gone down:

cosplayer Christine Sprankle (seen in the video below)announced she was quitting due to constant longterm harassment in the Magic: The Gathering community.

Sprankle blamed YouTube channel UnsleevedMedia, and was met with other prominent BTG community members offering support and corroborating stories of harassment from the YouTube channel.

Here is a twitter post from Sprankle on her decision:

It has been a rough year. And I have blocked and not said anything about him because I wanted it to die but without a doubt MtGHeadquarters/UnsleevedMedia has made my life hell this whole year with his unnecessary videos/tweets about me and other members of Magic.

Wizards of the Coast responded with the following: Taking Action on Harassment and Bullying statement. Some excerpts:

We are incredibly proud of the Magic community and the tremendous good it does in people’s lives. Magic is a game meant to bring people together—it’s right there in the name “The Gathering.” Our community is filled with stories of lifelong friendships and bonds forged through tapping lands, casting spells, and swinging in with everything for the win.

Sadly, that sense of community can be spoiled by the behavior of a few individuals. We at Wizards of the Coast are disheartened about bullying and harassment in the gaming community; unfortunately, the Magic community is not immune. No one should be subjected to threats and intimidation. No one should be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome while enjoying something they love. All people should be able to express their joy for the game without being attacked, whether that’s in a local game store, online, or somewhere in between.

WHAT WE’RE DOING RIGHT NOW

We are investigating reports we’ve received as quickly as possible. We know you’d like us to act faster and to share more information with you about this process, but we simply can’t. What we can tell you is that we take violations of our Code of Conduct very seriously, and violations can result in removal from organized play, the Wizards Play Network, and all Wizards accounts.

We are reviewing and updating our policies and reporting processes for Code of Conduct violations. We recognize that it is time to carefully reconsider how we work with retailers, tournament organizers, players, and community members to deal with harassment and bullying—online and offline. We have been working on this, but we will work faster. Expect announcements and explanations over the next few months about policies that we hope are clearer and processes that are easier to access and resolve issues more quickly.

We are going to be more proactive about setting expectations for behavior at Magic events and in all Magic spaces. Some of you may have taken a survey recently about what makes you feel comfortable and included at Magic events and what doesn’t. That is part of a project we’ve been working on that will clearly express how players, retailers, tournament organizers, and us here at Wizards expect each other to behave anywhere people are enjoying Magic. Think language and visuals at premier events, stores, and wherever you play Magic that are clear reminders of the respect we expect all players to be treated with. We’re shooting to get that out there by the time you’re playing Rivals of Ixalan.

These are first steps. We want to be leaders in the gaming community on this issue and will continue to figure out ways we can help tackle the problem.

 

WotC then updated it’s list of Banned DCI members and gave Unsleeved Media’s Jeremy Hambly a lifetime ban, permanently ending his sanctioned competitive play career.  As you can imagine, the wailing and gnashing of teeth has begun in full.

What it All Means

We’ve all seen a LOT of nasty and bullying behavior over the years online, across the gaming industry. No community is completely safe from it and while many organizations talk the talk – WotC’s actions show they are dead serious about controlling harassment and bullying.  WoTC is a large enough company that when they they take action like this, it will often lead to similar actions by others in the industry.  The tightly controlled MTG competitive play structure gives the company great control if they wish to use it.

I would not at all be surprised to see other manufacturers with company controlled competitive events following suit. FFG immediately springs to mind.  In an odd twist, Games Workshop currently does not have a strong set of formal company controlled competitive events, and thus lacks the strong leverage to be able to deal with harassment.  But that is now; and I can certainly envision GW using a variety of soft power levers to start to deal with the thorny community issue. Nottingham is clearly taking steps to increase inclusion in the hobby and I can’t see them ignoring this issues in the years ahead.

The bigger question is will WoTC stand alone or will other big outfits move with them to start to institute change in the community.

~What’s your take on what’s occurring in the industry and how the big companies should proceed?

  • Happycamper

    Load of crap. Get this snowflake article out of here. Banning people is a thought of the weak minded fools.

    • sidewinderscott

      I completely agree.

    • Fungrim

      Wow, it’s almost as if you’ve been….*triggered*….

    • Grimbuddha

      What’s your kid’s name? It’s cool to flame and harass that kid for years and years to come, until he’s completely broken inside. This is cool with you, right? Kid’s not a snowflake after all.

      • Happycamper

        Threating my son huh? Very mature, still wouldn’t ban you lol

        • Jason E Lips

          Says bans are for “weak-minded fools”, then wants this article banned! lmfao omfg

          • Happycamper

            Lol did I say ban anything?

          • Jason E Lips

            “Get this snowflake article out of here”.

          • Haxor

            Just like in the US, where the guy who injects a death row inmate with toxin gets a prison sentence and gets killed himself, oh wait …

          • Happycamper

            Stating a opinion on an article doesn’t mean I think the author should be banned from anything.

        • Grimbuddha

          No threats, this is ok and normal behavior, apparently.

      • Txabi Etxebarrieta

        Oh god, he’s a parent? That actually explains so much.

      • marxlives

        You need to come to grips man. Businesses can ban who they want as long as it does not violate the constitution.
        And the person whose son’s name you are asking for has a right to say “I don’t like the article”. But when you are asking for his son’s name for the sake of doing harm to him, let’s just say you would be lucky if he never gave you his son’s name.

        What you are doing is not a ban issue, you are actually walking into committing in an actual crime. Like if you found out his son’s name, harassed his son until he committed self harm, then there would a law enforcement investigation (not a civil suit initially) where the police could requisition records from BoLS, Disquis, and Google to find you. There is actually a legal precedent for this.

        Disagree with people all you want but I am just giving you a heads up. If you threaten real harm to someone and it occurs you are the object of a criminal investigation. And if you think having a handle will prevent law enforcement from finding your real identity and prosecuting charges against you, then you need to look up what Thin Thread and Project Prism are.

        This is the biggest problem I have with companies who ban, they do not take the time to differentiate between comments that they ideological disagree with or comments that are or can lead to an actual crime being committed through their social media. One is something that as a company you don’t like, one can lead to a civil suit if someone commits a crime that causes physical harm to someone by using that social media site to collect information on that person, and the moderates did not do their jobs in actually moderating those comments that can lead to real life crimes and civil litigation.

        • Grimbuddha

          Hi, welcome to the internet! Sarcasm is rife here. Obviously you are not aware of the circumstances around the issue you are commenting on. White-Knighting for someone who thinks that being victimized by repeated harassment makes you a weak “snowflake” doesn’t make you a hero. You miss the point of that comment being that I’m sure he would feel completely differently about this subject if it was his own child who was the victim.

          • marxlives

            I am just giving you some solid advice to help protect you from…well yourself. Name calling and insults are par for the course when it comes to the internet. I remember dialing into a BBS so I have been around for awhile. I am just letting you know that, to protect yourself, you need to differentiate between trolling and harassment with actual legal ramifications.

            There have been young people who have gone to jail for doing what you have suggested, requesting or grabbing someone’s name and specifically targeting that person to either cause them harm or drive them to self harm. Especially when it comes to children and there are recent judicial precedents for this.

            If you are going to troll, troll responsibly, even it is to keep yourself legally protected. Like I said, I am just trying to help you protect you from yourself. Alot of young people engage in doxxing and then it turns into outright cyber and physical stalking with real world threats to do harm to someone and they get surprised when they are in handcuffs. Know the line and stand right on top of it if you want to be the troll master but don’t cross that line. People get hurt and end up in jail for something that is just random internet noise. So avoid putting yourself in that situation.

    • mugginns

      lol

    • You’re right, they should be beaten into a coma instead, much more manly 🙄

      • Happycamper

        Not sure where that came from lmao

        • Well, if we’re not using social consequences to deal with bad behavior, because it’s too “snowflake,” I’m cool with using violence instead, it’s more medieval but equally effective

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            You joke, but…

          • These days I can’t tell where my satire ends and creative problem solving begins 😅

          • Happycamper

            So disagreeing with someone’s opinion means banning them huh.

          • ZeeLobby

            I personally think we should exorcize their demons!

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            I believe the line is actually drawn at “starts a harassment campaign.”

          • Happycamper

            All a matter of opinion. One mans terrorist a another mans freedom fighter. For record I really couldn’t care about their “beef” or whatever. But banning is ridiculous

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            I like how banning is the offense that bothers you and not harassment. But, that’s post-modernist “all ideas are equal” garbage for you.

          • Happycamper

            ah so only your ideas matter… got it

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            Not at all. I’m not ignorant enough to believe my ideas are flawless. I fully and willfully subject myself to my own criticism and the criticism of others, because that is how I improve myself as a human being. And part of that distinction is both knowing that some ideas are inherently better and more correct than others, and knowing that not everyone who presents a criticism or idea to me means to do so in a constructive way.

            It’s a balancing act. There’s a nuance that comes from understanding that there are, in fact, differences between good things and bad.

            But then there’s your world, where flat earth theory has validity because all ideas are equal, and that excuses abuse apparently.

            No thanks.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            And just to be clear;

            1. If you want to believe in flat earth theory, fine. I will not harm, abuse, or harass you. But I will not in any way pretend your idea has legitimacy or entertain the possibility that it is correct.

            2. If you use flat earth theory, or any garbage idea to harass, harm, intimidate, or otherwise bring pain to anyone, psychological or otherwise, I will absolutely return the favor with zero consideration for your well being.

            See? See how I am perfectly capable of respecting people with bad ideas without pretending those bad ideas are good ideas?

          • Apocryphus

            Taking a side in this entire situation is stating exactly that. To tell someone that they are being a “snowflake” because they are hurt by abusive comments or behavior is essentially dismissing that person’s ideas, and stating that yours are the only ideas that matter. This is a black and white situation, either all negative behavior is acceptable, or none of it is.

          • Happycamper

            Im calling the banning of people because their ideas are “hurting” others wrong.
            I am not telling them they can’t feel that way, they can feel hurt and harmed all they want, I could care less.

            It’s not black and white situation, what’s considered acceptable is a matter of opinion. Obliviously many differ in their opinions than yours.

          • Apocryphus

            Valid, but there is a certain standard to which society holds other people’s actions. To say that one person’s actions are excusable, or on the subject of banning, non-punishable, based on opinion is a dangerous stance to take. It can lead to very extreme situations where someone could use the argument to excuse such things as murder. Ignoring or not punishing what is generally accepted as negative behavior is the same as rewarding it and gives individuals who practice that behavior the idea that what they are doing is acceptable.

          • David Harrison

            Very well put. It looks like we may have a different opinion regarding this incident and the relevant facts, but the need for civil discourse when discussing these issues is something I believe we can certainly agree on.

          • Apocryphus

            Thank you. 🙂 I have noticed that we have differing views on the current situation but that overall we agree on the idea that bad behavior should be punished. My current stance comes from being a part of a certain community that is under a lot of social fire right now. I feel like these issues need to be dealt with before they are allowed to escalate and create something much more difficult to handle. Perhaps the punishment Jeremy received from WOTC was too extreme, and it’s unfortunate that he has to pay such a hefty price, but it certainly cements where WOTC stands on the type of behavior he exhibited and the type of action they will take regarding it in the future.

            Of course if it’s found that Jeremy’s ban is unjust, I would expect WOTC to remove it and make an apology. I think this sort of thing just needs to be handled seriously and not allowed to be swept under the rug.

          • AntonisLak

            If a company decides that based on political criteria i have a problem with it and i voice my concern

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            I would like a list of harassment targets that you consider valid based on your political criteria.

          • Xodis

            Right after you provide proof of “harassment”. Was this person being a dick? Probably, its pretty normal in todays society now, but Harassment is actually a legal term and has a criteria to meet. Its not like “fascist” that everyone wants to throw around at anyone that doesn’t agree with them.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            Cool story brah.

          • Xodis

            Again, you want to cry about something yet not provide anything to support yourself. If he committed a “campaign of harassment” it should be relatively easy to prove, and Im even willing to side with you against it….or continue to scream at the night sky…

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            Okay.

          • Xodis

            Fair enough

          • Peter Almo

            I find the bannings to be much more troublesome than the harassment in question. Do you have some compelling philosophical explanation for why harassment is objectively more disturbing than banning some one from an activity they love for the rest of their lives?

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            Oh god, the entitlement. You understand people get banned from things
            *all*
            *the*
            *time*
            right?

            You understand people are not entitled to the services and entertainment others provide right?

            You understand that there is almost nothing in the realm of hobbying that justifies harassment right?

            You understand that harassment often spills outside the confines of the hobby right?

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            Actually my posts are now being removed en masse, so I guess that means I’m done discussing the subject.

            Do enjoy your day.

          • Apocryphus

            Speaking of the concept of banning and censorship, right?

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            I suppose so. Not the first time BoLS has gotten upset with me though, and almost certainly not the last 😉

          • Shawn

            At least you didn’t get banned from BoLS

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            Meh? Place could probably be improved with a few more.

          • Rasheed Jones

            There was no harassment, I’ve seen all of it and at worst he said “no one cares about cosplay and I don’t get why people give you money.”

          • lmao wait so you don’t think it would be appropriate to ban terrorists because violence is just a matter of opinion? MFW to intelligent

          • Xodis

            It is appropriate because Terrorism is actually illegal. Its actually illegal to even be part of a terrorist organization (if you provide material support), which is why those groups are banned and your analogy doesnt work. If you dont commit terrorist acts, youre really not a terrorist….you just have some jacked up views.

          • Uh, I’m not the one who said terrorism is just a matter of opinion

          • Xodis

            I know just stating facts here.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Rambo 3…

          • euansmith

            It appears that some people can be usefully termed, “Harassment Facilitators”.

          • Xodis

            I totally agree, harassment should be banned…but did he? The only video we have of the harrassment was posted by Luciferial…is there more because what he said there does not qualify as harassment in any way.

          • Happycamper

            There in lies the problem, is subjective…which is why bans are bad

          • Dmitrij Pozdniakov

            That depends on definition of “harassment campaign”. which tend to be very vague and tend to broaden over time.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            I’ll accept this caveat, though I’m not sure I agree its definition has actually broadened over time.

          • Who said anything about disagreeing with someone’s opinion? If my opinion is that my deck is legal but it isn’t, is that a difference of opinion? Of course not, I’d get banned trying to pull that crap, with good reason. Bullying is just as damaging to the community as cheating, but again, I’m fine with not banning people and simply using violence to punish bad behavior. If they don’t want to get beaten maybe we just cut off a finger.

          • Happycamper

            Cheating is very black and white, “harnessing” and “hurting feels” is subjective aka “some ones opinion”

          • Xodis

            Harassment actually has set legal boundaries, I just haven’t seen any evidence that it qualifies.

          • It’s my opinion the deck is legal, so it’s just a difference of opinion

          • Xodis

            Except its not an opinion, its against the established rules.

          • And who sets the rules? WoTC, who also decide who gets bans. It’s their event, they don’t have to give a reason for banning people

          • Xodis

            True, as a company they can ban who they want, transparency needs to be addressed though as this won’t work out well for them.

          • The banned player should start his own magic tournament. With black jack. And hookers. Actually, forget the magic.

          • Xodis

            Nothing wrong with that. Although since he doesn’t like “lingerie” cosplay I doubt he is pro hookers….so forget that tournament! Lol

          • Now I want to play blackjack…

          • Dmitrij Pozdniakov

            Oh so when they dance to your tune, it’s “private companies can do whatever they want”; and when they don’t it’s “they must change x or they’re evil / because #currentyear”.

          • 1st part, yes, 2nd part, no? I think magic is dumb, I think people who play magic are dumb, I think wizards is a dumpster heap of a company. I have no dog in this fight other than enjoying watching people face social consequences for bad behavior. As a primate species, that’s how we do

          • Rasheed Jones

            There are literal concrete rules on if a deck is illegal or not, there are not concrete rule of harassment, and he didn’t harass anyone, he said a few mean things, and the original claim was never proven. If I say you called me the n-word (I’d type it out but the post would be deleted) and the evidence presented was you called several people online stupid several times and you were banned you’d think it was wrong too.

          • Anyone is free to ban me, I wouldn’t belong to a club that would have me as a member anyway

          • Grimbuddha

            Apparently, considering all the deleted comments here.

        • Jabberwokk

          He’s an extremist. They all are. It’s either to one extreme of censorship or it’s beatings in the streets.

      • polyquaternium7
        • Exactly, it’s the manly solution

          • euansmith

            I’ve got dyslexic fists, I beat people in to a Comma.

          • Apocryphus

            Oh, is your name Oxford, by chance?

          • euansmith

            , And you point is? 😉

          • That sounds uncomfortable and preferable to a coma

    • Txabi Etxebarrieta

      Why does this argument tend to come from people who get triggered by football players taking a knee?

      • Happycamper

        What does that have to do with banning people you don’t agree with?

        • Txabi Etxebarrieta

          If you need me to draw you a diagram, you’re even more obtuse than I would have expected.

          • Happycamper

            So your assuming that I think we should ban the players? Whether I agree with their action or not (not diving into that) I believe the have the right to say it

      • Hahboo

        I get triggered when people take a knee because they’re at work. I don’t grandstand about my politics while on the job and I don’t get paid in the millions.

        • Txabi Etxebarrieta

          Oh I see. So freedom of speech is absolute and no one should be censored ever…except when you’re at work.

          Got it.

          • Xodis

            Its not being censored to not “protest” during work, its called common sense. When you protest at work your views then become the views of the organization you work for…you dont have that authority unless its given to you, which is why most companies have a PR manager.
            Also its not censorship to follow rules and guidelines when “on the clock”, its part of the established contract between an employer and their employee.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            This is an absurd outlook. If every act of protest during work were automatically assumed to be company outlook, then what would that make a strike? A company protesting itself? This is pure abstraction to the point of meaninglessness, and betrays a lack of understanding with respect to what a protest even is.

            The fact remains that the NFL is clearly divided on the issue and everyone is aware of it. I’m pretty sure no one has conflated Kaepernick’s views with that of the whole of the NFL.

          • Xodis

            I dont know what world you live in but a strike is not on company time, you dont get paid for that time when you strike, so your analogy is completely flawed.

            Actually Kaepernicks views HAVE been attributed to he whole of the NFL, its why they continue to bleed viewers and money. The NFL commissioner has even attempted to “PAY” (by donating money to a cause) to get the protests to stop, which blew up in his face big time.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            Strikes are on company time, that’s the point. They wouldn’t disrupt work if they didn’t.

            They’ve been bleeding money and viewers for years now. Yes, this has had some impact because people are offended, but it’s hardly the driving force behind the reduction. Additionally, the NFL has been clearly divided on the issue. They’ve made the anthem increasingly more elaborate to make a point, but owners and players remain divided on the issue.

          • Xodis

            No they are not, the employees strike during the time they “should” be working, but they are not actually on the clock during that period…thats the point of the strike, they dont get paid for it. Seriously this is common knowledge, how are you confused by this? Businesses that are not trapped by a union even replace the workers a lot of the times, its why you dont see many strikes except by those protected.

            Again, you are completely wrong, viewership went down a little in 2015 but has since been rising, it currently is below the 2015 mark. Get some real facts instead of these “alt facts”.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            I’m not confused at all. It’s an asinine distinction. Of course they don’t get paid during a strike. No one has suggested otherwise. They are none-the-less considered employees still, are not counted as “unemployed” by any major statistic unless they go long periods without pay. Nor do they get to collect full unemployment benefits. And yes, I know how scabbing works. Thanks for the insights.

            Insofar as football goes, you may wanna check Forbes’ breakdown on those numbers. Variability makes it hard to say for certain given certain matchups pull higher numbers and certain teams have more draw, but the general conclusion is that the NFL has been losing “run-of-the-mill” viewers for quite some time.

            https://www.forbes.com/sites/briangoff/2017/01/23/nfls-missing-million-viewers/#4b721ab72d5d

          • Xodis

            If youre not getting paid its not during company time then, its not asinine its the basic principles of off duty and on duty you are conflating.
            “They are none-the-less considered employees still” And? Employees are not on the clock 24/7 unless on salary. Even then there are still distinctions made between off duty and on duty.
            That article clearly shows the drop off being the same time that Kaepernick started his protests last year…you still think its a coincidence?

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            “That article clearly shows the drop off being the same time that Kaepernick started his protests last year…you still think its a coincidence?”

            Given the entire article goes well out of its way to provide explanations as to what caused specific drops on specific weeks as well as what is happening when the NFL is doing well, and at no point Kaepernick is mentioned…yes, actually. Did you even bother to read the article?

            “If youre not getting paid its not during company time then, its not asinine its the basic principles of off duty and on duty you are conflating.
            “They are none-the-less considered employees still” And? Employees are not on the clock 24/7 unless on salary. Even then there are still distinctions made between off duty and on duty.”

            Good lord this is exhausting. So what, when police unions decided they weren’t going to provide security to Beyonce concerts after the Black Panther thing…how in God’s name are you determining on-duty and off-duty?

          • Xodis

            I did read the article, I even specifically mentioned content in the article to you. You trying to dismiss me as “not reading the article” is a sad attempt to try and remove yourself from a conversation I obviously have more knowledge about or you didn’t actually read what I wrote.
            How about an up to date article about the lose in viewership since yours is dated Jan 2017 which is right at the end of the 2016 season.
            https://www.forbes.com/sites/briangoff/2017/10/23/nfl-losing-viewers-at-alarming-rate-but-faces-limits-on-its-response/#232fa1bd4212

            You can see that its actually a MUCH bigger problem then they thought a year ago.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            Except where you filled in your own blanks as to what the cause was, when the article gives specific examples as to what was effecting viewership and none of them involved Kaepernick. Which made your question “is it a coincidence” seem hilarious.

            But sure, that works. Viewership is down in sports like NASCAR, football, and others, soccer viewership is up despite the plethora of politicized banners against racism and tons of anti-cop sentiment, but yeah. Kaepernick. Go you.

          • Xodis

            Specific examples of what they believed to be the evidence based off of a single season. Did you bother to check out the more recent article I posted?

            Viewership is down in other sports, this is true, but not to the degree that Football is down. The most prominent sports entertainment company for decades, is sinking like the Titanic….but sure it must be everything else and not something the NFL Commissioner and Team owners themselves have been trying to deal with.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            Yes I did read your article. Allow me to quote it for you.

            “One candidate for a short-term impact might be scoring. Median points scored per game is off by about 2.5 versus its peak in 2013 and down to around levels from a decade ago. That is not a very satisfying answer, however, given that median scoring was actually higher in 2016 than in 2015 or 2014. Also, the variations in scoring at other percentiles is not all that different from past seasons.”

            “The list of alternative explanations for the viewership decline has been much discussed of late. It includes Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem in 2016 (along with the continuing controversy about the subsequent anthem protests and Kaepernick’s unemployment), Deflategate (along with Tom Brady’s suspension and legal battle in 2016), Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension and legal battle this season, and other off-the-field matters.

            Separating these various factors from one another, and from the long-term trends, in statistically valid ways is very difficult, if not impossible, given the limits of the data. Anyone making bold statements about precise impacts is bound to be wrong. A more modest position is this: None of these situations are helping attract or keep viewers, and the combination of them is likely more important than the effect of any one of them in isolation.”

            Meanwhile, ACAB banners across all of soccer.

            But sure. Kaepernick.

          • Xodis

            Yes, so obviously there are other factors outside of just the protests, no one said otherwise, but which problems are seeing direct involvement with the NFL Commisioner and Team owners? Just a little logical thinking instead of blindly backing your own belief is all I ask.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            And now I do what I should have done last time since you won’t even bother to read your own articles. I’m done discussing things with you. Have a nice day.

          • Xodis

            lol cant defend your position so you run. Bye.

          • Jabberwokk

            And yet it’s having an effect

            https://www.dailywire.com/news/24519/nfl-hell-ticket-prices-fall-10-teams-struggle-fill-emily-zanotti

            Had this been say a factory or something they would have all been fired.

          • ZeeLobby

            Eh. Good riddance. Everyone I talk to who are against the whole kneeling thing always bring up how grateful the players should be, and use language equating them to tools of entertainment rather than individuals. It always comes off as super slave owner. If NFL owners make slightly less billions, so be it. If players get lower contracts because of it. That’s their choice.

          • Xodis

            I totally agree, I wont bat an eye at lost wages for professional athletes, that being said I dont think anyone making a slave analogy is correct.
            They are workers during work time at a game, and workers are generally not allowed to express their political views during work time.

          • ZeeLobby

            But in the end it’s still entertainment. Entertainers always have leeway concerning opinion and protest. Its really up to the employer to enforce it.

            As a complete aside, I’m glad this all started, it’s something the US has been secretly grappling with for years, and now we can have a discussion. We just have to remove calling something “fake” as being a sole viable argument.

          • Xodis

            They have, but then they are still at the mercy of their employees, seems like most of the entertainment industry is being brought down by their own doing, so Im totally OK with it.

            True, but there is a lot of “fake” out there. ABC just suspended a News anchor for its “Fake” announcement last week, that being said it was probably more the writer/editors fault anyways.

          • ZeeLobby

            Eh. C’mon here. “lots of fake” is a stretch. Sure ALL news sites publish articles that occasionally need to be redacted or clarified, and sure each agency has their biases, but the majority of them are not fake at all. That said, some are definitely way more opinionated than others. I just some would clearly label which pieces are opinionated and which aren’t. I mean Fox’s whole recent smear campaign against Mueller is just laughable (a republican appointed under Bush with a stellar record).

          • Jabberwokk

            Well the whole point of the business is to entertain no? And your not thinking of all the other businesses that get impacted by this stuff. Like the Security guards, cleaning staff, Cameramen, tax drivers, plumbers..so on and so forth. It is selfish and self centered. Most of those people just want to work and peruse their own dreams but because millionaire linebacker has to make a statement they get to suffer. Who’s job do you think get cut first when revenues go down? So I feel for them, not for the players or the owners.

          • ZeeLobby

            Just because they make more doesn’t make their jobs or opinions less important. While yes, you can feel sorry for the lower staff that are involved in that industry, you can’t just use it as a point to make them “shut up and take it”. They have rights as well.

            That said, even before this year viewership of many sporting events has been declining. Correlation does not equal causation. Sure politically bent sources will put that spin on it, but it doesn’t make it the sole determining factor.

          • Jabberwokk

            Fair enough but the viewer also has the right to not listen or recuse them-self in a topic that has nothing to do with them. I think that’s whats happening.

            A football player can make them-self a source of political resistance if they want and I can not wear my uniform to work in protest of “enforced-uniformity” if I so desired. There are consequences to these things.

          • EnTyme

            And how do you explain the equal dropoff in NASCAR viewership? Correlation does not equal causation

          • Xodis

            It does in this case, even ESPN blames it on the protests, and the NFL commissioner wouldn’t have tried to “buy” the protesters off if it were not due to them.

          • EnTyme

            Most TV analyst blame it on multiple factors. Yes, the protests are one of those factors, but the largest factor is the rising popularity of streaming services.

          • ZeeLobby

            This is actually true. Sports viewership has been declining. Protests may have given it a boost, but until streaming services are capable of streaming sports for reasonable pricing I imagine it’ll continue to decline.

          • Xodis

            Except streaming services cant cover these games legally, and the illegal services are garbage for live TV.
            Streaming services are taking down cable companies, but Football has its own unique problems.

          • euansmith

            Like, not actually involving kicking a ball around a pitch in the manner that God and Bobby Charlton intended? 😉

          • It’s a replacement good. I haven’t watched a football game in years, I’d rather Netflix

          • Xodis

            Neither have I, but luckily no Hockey teams seem to be kneeling, so I’m safe.

          • EnTyme

            I think you misunderstood what I was saying. People aren’t streaming sports, they’re watching other forms of entertainment via streaming. If they were still watching sports via stream, I don’t think the various leagues would be worried as they’d still have the audience. Sports needs to get with the times and start joining streaming services at a reasonable price.

          • Jabberwokk

            Well then don’t worry about it. Nothings wrong everything is fine….

            By the way sometimes it does. For example: The more Barbells I carry the heavier it gets.

            I would imagine a loss in revenue probably has a cause….

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            An effect maybe, but Forbes has pointed out that there was a decline in viewership brewing for quite some time.

            https://www.forbes.com/sites/briangoff/2017/01/23/nfls-missing-million-viewers/#4b721ab72d5d

          • Xodis

            2 seasons is not a long time and seem to coincide with the start of the “kneeling” controversy.

          • ZeeLobby

            But baseball and basketball viewership is down as well. And NASCAR, etc. Who knows. Maybe the explosion of geek culture is having an effect on it as well.

          • Xodis

            True, but they are losing a fraction of what the NFL is losing. A lot of ABC/FOX stations are getting desperate and able to sell Primetime Football time for garbage prices, because no one wants to buy it.

          • euansmith
          • Jabberwokk

            I appreciate the article and read it in full.

            I’m curious if this means they’re losing more to their competition in baseball as pointed out in the article or if the league is stagnant as a whole. In any case most of the kneeling fiasco has happened this year and the article was written in January. I can’t imagine then it helped out if the league has been suffering even longer than that and it did concede political events such as the presidential debates have an impact on viewership. Is it to far of a stretch to say other political events don’t have an impact and if they do how much?

            As per normal time will reveal all things but personally I see the which way the winds are blowing and I don’t see anywhere where social justice is implemented in any capacity a net positive in either revenue, sales, or even morale is attained. Paradoxically the opposite aims are what are achieved. If this wasn’t the case I’d change my mind.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            My guess is the reason the Kaepernick kneeling controversy gets as much attention as it does is because it’s one of the only talking factors. My folks watch less football than they used to, and it’s not for any real reason other than it hasn’t been as much of a priority for them. I probably watch more soccer than they both watch football combined. But there’s nothing really to talk about there.

            That’s just a guess though. No one has a particularly solid idea, just a congruence of factors.

            “As per normal time will reveal all things but personally I see the which way the winds are blowing and I don’t see anywhere where social justice is implemented in any capacity a net positive in either revenue, sales, or even morale is attained. Paradoxically the opposite aims are what are achieved. If this wasn’t the case I’d change my mind.”

            I’d still maintain soccer. The US soccer scene is probably among the most broadly “Left” in the world. It doesn’t have a St. Pauli or a Celtic/Rangers rivalry to make it seem so. But the fan base pools primarily from folks who came from countries where it was a big deal (the Middle East, Latin America, etc), and the other big part is folks who like the big political orientation of a lot of soccer teams. So explicit anti-racism, strong anti-cop undertones, that sorta thing.

          • Jabberwokk

            Perhaps. Perhaps the shift in world demographics in western nations brings in a shift in appetites. Outside of that I’ll have to take your word for it as I don’t watch a lick of soccer. I’m an MMA guy myself. And even then I probably watch more E-sports than actual sports come to think about it.

          • templarsmonochromata

            Expressing political aleigence of any kind at work is, or at least should be considered utterly unprofessional behavior of the highest order.
            It is not in the interests of the employer to (essentially) financially endorse your alienation of ANY potential revenue streams that the company themselves have not designated for alienation, even when we’re on ironclad moral grounds.
            Thats not what the employees are being payed for, and, DURING PAYED HOURS, they should not express such sentiments.

            I am of the, admittedly exceedingly naive principle that such obligations end with the shift, and a ‘peon’ becomes a ‘freeman’ once he or she punches the clock, free to condemn others or even break a variety of laws, should they foolishly choose to do so.

            As an employee however, your job is to increase revenue flows, not cut off the baby-eating devil worshiping market from purchasing your goods and services.

  • Haxor

    What exactly did unsleeved media do/say to ‘earn’ this ban?

    • sidewinderscott

      nothing really.

      • Grimbuddha

        You mean nothing you haven’t done yourself out of impotent spite, and cowardice at your target not being in the same room as you?

        • sidewinderscott

          No I have never been a troll. Unsleeved media does have the records of the death threats he has received. I have watched this story on other sites. It was odd that before the Christine Sprankle tweet here patreon was at its lowest point. after her announcement her patreon hit record levels.

          • Nothing out of the ordinary, really. Chances are, it’ll die down to a middling point again in a few weeks when the controversy fades from people’s minds. Some call it “pity-bucks”, I think.

          • I don’t find her Patreon growth to be unusual at all. She quit working for Magic events, and as a show of solidarity her fan base chose to invest more in her continued growth. Patreon is the resurgence of funding art directly, as it was in the days of the classical composers and artists. It shows that the community is behind her decision and also take exception to the behavior that led to Unsleeved’s host getting banned.

          • orionburn III

            I can understand why people can get upset if they feel a person is doing something to get attention in order to raise more money. On the other hand, it’s other people’s money so what difference does it make at the end of the day? Those individuals are using their money as they see fit. Personally I’ve come to like this ability to directly support people that I want to, especially when it comes to my favorite small time bands.

          • Xodis

            Its not that there is anything wrong to having a patreon or even performing “stunts” to increase your revenue, its that it throws shade on your intentions.
            People dont normally come out and say “this is a stunt” when it is one, so its at least suspect that this could be a stunt even if it isnt
            I dont have a dog in this fight (I dont know who these people are, or even play MtG casually much less competitively), but Im not a fan of bans, unless he outright “attacked” someone.

          • orionburn III

            And generally speaking a community is pretty good at policing themselves. It doesn’t take long for word to get around if somebody is a bad player, a cheat, etc. Me personally I prefer the community itself to handle these sort of things and not so much the “mother ship” if you will. I know of one 40k tourney that does a good job of not inviting peolpe back if it’s been shown that they aren’t decent players (i.e. attempts to cheat, outright jerks to people, and so on).

            I have no dog in this fight either. Just goes to show what a bunch of weirdos Magic players are 😛

            :::goes back to obsessing about proper grey colors to use on my Red Scorpions:::

          • Xodis

            I prefer Warpfiend Grey, gives it the darkness I like…despite the heretical name lol.

            I agree, a community can pretty much take care of its self, unless its a toxic local community which should just be avoided entirely.

          • euansmith

            I used to have a dog in this fight, but, apparently it is “against the rules” to unleash a pair ravenous hounds on one’s opponents. Political correctness gone mad!

            http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/82116c614c3e3f1e905d615e5a1cb15989ea8c24e575496e84fd44537f4c7572.jpg

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Socks?

          • euansmith

            The well-dressed mutt-about-town know it is important to accessorise.

            http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/32f0fd7183f88bd6b224898efe6cc0af67986c4f215452a83824a4de46748481.jpg

          • Elijah Herstal

            No, it just shows that desperate boys will throw money at women if they cry. Gaming is full of desperate enablers.

        • Jabberwokk

          Like your doing right now?

          • Grimbuddha

            This is normal and ok now, apparently. And it’s “You’re”, by the way, you troglodyte. See? This behavior is ok and normal.

          • Xodis

            Yes and now you should be banned because that is ok normal now.

          • Jabberwokk

            Well you got me there. Thread is moving fast so i missed the you’re.

            So Can I get you banned and fired now since that’s the way you want it to work?

            Seems pretty petty and overreaching but if that’s the way you want it.

          • Grimbuddha

            Yes, put me out of my misery. If I am becoming a toxic presence, bringing down the quality of discourse and becoming a detriment to the happiness and livelihood of others in this sphere, then can me and ban me. Apparently, though, “nothing really” was done according to OP, so what, maybe I can find a way to monetize the race to the bottom?

          • Jabberwokk

            Well then so long then I guess.

            By the way you totally sound like a cultists….Sacrifice meeeeee!

        • Rasheed Jones

          so its fine as long as we’d say things in the same room as someone? Alright, meet me in Atlanta at the Wyndham and I’ll tell you how dumb it is to accuse people of being spiteful cowards for speaking online while speaking online cause might makes right apparently.

      • Koen Diepen Van

        See that is the problem right there. The thought that being a dick to ppl is the new normal that nothing really happend. Of course he said thing that where disliked by others that is why they complained. Now should he be banned for being a dick… i don’t think so.
        But he revelled in it used it to push his twitter he sees being a dick as a career path. He doesn’t hold back when ppl complain he doesn’t even just keep on going, no he doubles down. When and where should the line be drawn? I am all for free speech but i just wish ppl would use it to be constructive not just to get attention.

        • Just saying, but there’s a bunch of folks who made “being a dick” their career paths. Just look at Hollywood, professional comedians and satirists, Jim Sterling, that cooking guy… I don’t see how this is suddenly a new thing.

          • Koen Diepen Van

            The difference between Jim Sterling and this guy. Is that Jim Sterling makes fun of ppl’s products this guy makes fun of ppl’s personally. Or in other words Jim is a professional critic that gives criticism in the hope that the product gets better. This guy just wants to punch down.

          • Haxor

            If you can’t stand criticism, why expose yourself to the public?

          • There is a difference between criticism and harassment,

          • ZeeLobby

            Ding!

          • Shawn

            Mayhem’s statement be true, but did WotC actually check if this guy was actually being uncivil and bullying, or did they just take her word for it? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they did.

          • Rasheed Jones

            There was no harassment! He literally said he didn’t like someone on the internet, everyone has done that.

          • I have to disagree. Jim Sterling has a big history of picking the lowest fruit, then continuing to “punch down” and picking personal fights with developers and personalities. His Youtube channel quickly devolved into just that kind of petty, foul-mouthed nonsense. He makes his patreon bucks right on the backs of that childish drama.

          • Koen Diepen Van

            Well that is fine if you think that. But I have to disagree. While Jim Sterling can certainly be croase. I would not say that he is punching down.

        • Jabberwokk

          But that’s the thing about free speech. you can use it your way and some one else can use it their’s. No one should be penalized, by bureaucratic/legal/political force. That’s does not mean in, the same vein, There is no consequences.

          Someone who uses his words gracefully will be seen as a gentlemen.

          someone who uses his words spitefully will be seen as a dick.

          People tend(but not always) like the one over the other.

          The Problem is what is being suggested is using weight of authority to enforce speech and crush opposition. It is an inherently authoritarian solution and as it turns out most people don’t like being controlled, or herded, or guided, or whatever you want to call it. I call it what it is….being bossed around. Especially when the underpinning motivation is good ‘ol fashioned revenge.

        • bryanp319

          I just don’t think one medium should cross into another. If I am a dick say on twitter to the point that it becomes a problem ban my twitter don’t also track down every other online group I am a part of get me banned from those as well and get me kicked out of my gaming group. Measured responses please.

          • Koen Diepen Van

            In the opinion of wotc it was effecting them and they don´t own twitter, so a little hard for them to ban him from there. Also being a dick in a community is not a technological thing it´s something you are or are not. If twitter banned him he would still be a dick

    • The_Illusionist

      He/They are a youtube channel who make videos about Magic tournaments, upcoming events, and so on, and they include a lot of in-jokes, memes and other material that pokes fun at Wizards and Magic Players (which, in fairness, includes themselves). It can be crude and it can be offensive, but it hasn’t yet been targetted bullying or discrimination; adult humour, occasionally self-deprecating.

      Wizards have decided that they went too far, banned them from tournaments and confiscated their Magic Online accounts, without warning or any possibility of an appeal.

      It seems a bit harsh to us, but there’s stuff about it in the WotC codes of conduct, and the Magic Online EULA, and there’s probably an argument that what they do might fall under Copyright and/or DMCA…. Unsleeved should have been more careful, really.

      • Not like EULAs or Terms of Service are iron chains, though. Especially in Europe, they hold comparatively little water if fought.

        • The_Illusionist

          Wizards of the Coast are notoriously litigious, from what I have heard; more so even than Games Workshop, who have been responsible for some doozies.

          If they were to decide that, actually, they DO expect people to follow their rules and be punished if they fail to do so? I don’t imagine that many people would have the influence or funding to fight back against what is probably the biggest Gaming company in the business.

          As I said above; it’s their game, and it’s their rules. Unsleeved should have been more careful, especially if they think their livelihoods depend on it.

        • Koen Diepen Van

          You know what there is no law forceing WOTC to let anny one compeet in their private events. They are free to bann anny individual for what ever reason they want.

          • Events are one thing, but, without any recourse, removing/banning him from using his Magic Online account, where he spent a good deal of money on, is another entirely. As long as he did not cheat in the game, hack or whatever, he is being banned for completely unrelated factors.

          • Koen Diepen Van

            Well I agree whit you there somewhat. Consumers have way to few rights when it comes to the games as a service model. But in this case that is a side issue

      • JN7

        A number of the videos were abusive enough they violated YouTube’s TOS and were removed. That’s pretty clear evidence of problem behavior. You are not entitled to a platform from which to launch your asshattery. Additionally, WoTC is under no obligation to allow them to profit by association with their products.

        • The_Illusionist

          I wasn’t aware that Unsleeved had gone so far as to have videos removed. Thank you for clarifying.

          In which case…. I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for them before I knew that, and I certainly have none now.

        • Xodis

          YouTubes TOS changes on a regular basis and different standards are applied at all times, its actually quite a big issue.
          There are Pro-ANTIFA videos that actively encourage violence (against YT TOS) against their oppositions, yet PragerU (a conservative/religious group) has had multiple videos of historic assessments (like how Fascism is a leftist principle and not a right wing one) pulled due to content.

          TLDR I wouldnt base YT’s TOS violations as any acceptable standard.

          • JN7

            Inconsistent policing is a problem across all spheres of society. Just because one group hasn’t been punished it doesn’t mean a meted punishment wasn’t warranted.

          • Xodis

            If a standard is inconsistent or subject to change depending on the reviewer, then its not really a standard and shouldnt be held as an example of proof of wrong doing either.

          • Shawn

            Ding, ding, ding.

          • Rasheed Jones

            Except that if the other group is NEVER punished, then its not a just society, its an aristocracy, and that what’s happening here. Other people can do or say whatever they want about people and do much worse than he did. In fact if what he did is harassment, literally anyone that has called someone stupid on any social media should be banned.

          • Shawn

            I think I know what you’re trying to say, but simply calling someone stupid isn’t harassment.

          • Rasheed Jones

            That’s basically what he did though. why is it harassment for him but not for you.

          • Shawn

            Glad I’m not the only one who knew that YouTube was doing this to Prager U too.

        • Rasheed Jones

          Those videos were removed via a mass flagging campaign, several were reinstated but its a process to have them reinstated and youtube can be slow at this.)

  • Ben Crowther

    When I go to a Warhammer event, I want to play a game of Warhammer. Much like when I go to an MTG event, I want to play a game of MTG, not listen to this guy spew some drivel about how transgender individuals are affected when playing Magic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=880tW_PKswQ&feature=youtu.be&t=1199). Good riddance to him.

    • Anthony Shannon

      Watched about half of this and the arguments are reasonable and straightforward.
      *MTG, like many such hobbies is male dominated.
      *There is an annual/biannual push by activists to get representation for women and minority groups in competitive MTG
      *Competitive MTG, unlike WOTC promoted community members/youtubers is based on merit at the game and not victim status- making it impossible to create representation by fiat
      *Representation is unimportant- fat bearded men are not represented by any of the 30ish planeswalkers yet make up a significant percentage of MTG’s customer and tourney base. Lack of representation is not the factor keeping ladies away from fantasy themed card games.

      I haven’t seen anything that would convince me that nay of these arguments are false.

      • Ben Crowther

        Ah, he saves his best for last.

        So if it’s not lack of representation, what is it? Perhaps it’s attitudes like his, that hobbies have historically been a boy’s club and should always remain that way.

        At the end of the day, I don’t care who my opponent is, as long as they exhibit good human behavior and we both have fun. Your political, social, whatever creeds do not matter to me while we’re playing a game. But I see nothing but benefits in creating an inclusive gaming community. Encouraging more people to play leads to an increased pool of opponents and the more interest in the hobby the more new lines of models, etc. we the hobbyists receive. These are all good things. I would have no problem telling anyone who drives away interested parties through bad behavior that they are no longer welcome here.

        • ZeeLobby

          Well said.

        • Puppet Soul

          Competitive levels of games, Magic included, requires dedication and incredible time investment learning niche concepts and pointlessly repeating actions (running gauntlets, etc.).

          It should come as no surprise that many of these people are autistic: they naturally excel at competitive, repetitive activities with limited or no social interaction. They tend to devote themselves wholly to whatever catches their attention, a “live the walk” until their interest wanes.

          It takes an almost superhuman level of excellence to rival an autist in their element, and as such, I would never expect women to achieve equivalent representation at any Pro tier competitive events: male autists outnumber female ones almost 5-to-1 at large.

      • You can say the same about 40k and the genhanced demigods of war that are Space Marines.
        It’s a complete nontroversy instigated by a tiny group of busybodies crying “hatespeech” at everything that could potentially upset someone.

    • bryanp319

      He wasn’t doing it at a magic event, if that was the case fine ban him. It was on a YouTube Channel and on Twitter two mediums that not only are you not forced to use but you also get to choose who you interact with.

      • JN7

        Speech comes with consequences, regardless of where that speech takes place.

        • bryanp319

          Speech does have consequences. In this case the consequences are BS.

        • Rasheed Jones

          Should you be banned if I accuse you of calling me the n-word even if its false? The only evidence given would be a few stock insults agaisnt other people online also it wouldn’t matter if the original claim was unproven. That’s basically what happened here.

  • Drpx

    Thought this was something relevant then realized it’s just e-celeb drama.

    • euansmith

      Coming soon, “I’m an e-celeb, get me out of here”; in which e-celebs are force to play Dark Souls for food.

      • Majere613

        Damn, I wish my blog got enough hits for me to qualify, I’m pretty good at Dark Souls and anyway I probably need to cut down on the calories 🙂

        • euansmith

          Don’t worry, any “celebrity” series sees diminishing returns. You’ll be in series 8, after it moves to Channel 5; and you’ll be playing Candy Crush for water. 😉

      • Hahboo

        forced to play Dark Souls, while nobody watches

        • euansmith

          Actually, yes, thinking about it, I was simply describing Twitch TV.

          • Hahboo

            They have to sit in a black room with nothing but the next boss ahead of them. Can they survive without the constant feed of people throwing them praise for the smallest thing?

  • orionburn III

    I’ve seen this story floating around but don’t know all the ins and outs about it, nor a proper comparison of both sides to this story. That being said there’s always a slippery slope to these sorts of things. If someone is a blantant racist then I’d rather see them out. The issue is that what somebody defines as bullying. When thin skinned people start to say they’re being buililed because somebody posted a criticism of them or something they did/said that’s a problem.

  • Kabal1te

    Ya know over the past 6 months of decisions WotC has made regarding M:TG it has looked like they were trying to kill off the game. I think this is another sign of that.

    • Jason E Lips

      If banning trolls kills the game, then supporting trolls is its only point for existing. I’ve never played MtG and I have no idea who any of these folks are, but WotC is free to install and enforce the rules surrounding their game, and doing so does not infringe on anyone’s ‘right’ to free speech.

      • Txabi Etxebarrieta

        “Free speech” has become shorthand for “I demand the inalienable right to be a jerk without fear of consequences.”

        • Evil Otto

          No, freedom of speech implicitly contains that. Because “jerk” is highly subjective. Who decides if someone is being a “jerk?”

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            No it does not, it never has, and it never will. You are not entitled to an audience. You do not “deserve” to participate in things just because you say so. No one who provides a service to you owes you anything. The service they owe is conditional, and your need to be a jerk does not overwrite that. Period. End of discussion.

            The only thing freedom of speech promises is that your most basic freedoms won’t be denied to you based on what you say. But that doesn’t mean everyone has to associate with you.

            Lord have mercy, this is not complicated.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            Oh, and

            “Who decides if someone is being a “jerk?””

            WotC does. I am deeply sorry that needs to be spelled out to you.

          • Evil Otto

            You’re perfectly proving my point. Your replies are condescending. You are being a jerk.

            (And no, that doesn’t offend me.)

          • And if bols decided to ban his handle from posting it would be perfectly within their rights

          • David Harrison

            Txabi your line of reasoning regarding freedom of speech is deeply misguided. From its inception, Liberalism has help that each individual is sovereign onto himself, and that his most basic freedoms include the ability to express himself in whatever way he sees fit. If you read the writings of the thinkers who laid down the framework of this political and philosophical framework you will see that they were as deeply concerned about social pressure being used to suppress free expression by the individual as they were with government pressure. This is because they realized that at any time the prevailing social norms would be imperfect, and in need of criticism to improve. This criticism might be in the form of well articulated and reasoned argument or in base and derisive commentary, but either form is an equally valid mode of expression. The suppression of dissenting opinion or action is therefore treated with a great deal of skepticism within this framework, and given an enormously high barrier of evidentiary standard of extreme harm to overcome. As for WotC, having this power, I fundamentally disagree as such an arrangement puts the company in an authoritarian position where they can dictate to the community what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. However, this is far beyond their remit as it allows them to infringe on our individual sovereignty by treating individuals as if they don’t have the moral agency to make these decisions on their own. Only the individual has the power to decide whether another is being a jerk, and only subjectively. No person is infallible with a perfectly balanced sense of ethics and morality, so we cannot make objective moral claims about other’s actions or opinions.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            1. Just to be clear, I have not, ever have been, and never will adhere to liberal principles. So I don’t particularly care.

            Just the same

            2. “If you read the writings of the thinkers who laid down the framework of this political and philosophical framework you will see that they were as deeply concerned about social pressure being used to suppress free expression by the individual as they were with government pressure. ”

            So to clarify, individual sovereignty apparently defends harassment campaigns that definitely don’t qualify as undue pressure on an individual and their self-expression (like, say, a cosplayer) but it does create a duty on the part of WotC to let others use their products and services as they see fit.

            Yeah. That checks out.

            3. “This is because they realized that at any time the prevailing social norms would be imperfect, and in need of criticism to improve. ”

            Liberalism has never cornered the market on criticism of any sort, and how you use “criticism of society” to imply we are unable to punish harassment is a weak one at best.

            4. “This criticism might be in the form of well articulated and reasoned argument or in base and derisive commentary, but either form is an equally valid mode of expression. ”

            No, actually, they aren’t. For criticism to have any semblance of value it needs to actually have substantive quality behind it. So derisive commentary that only exists to tear down someone without room for improvement is not equal to every sort of criticism. To suggest otherwise is obscuring the legitimacy of criticism behind a veil of post-modernist subjectivism, and quite frankly I’m tired of these garbage notions that all ideas are magically considered legitimate because rainbows and unicorns.

            5. “The suppression of dissenting opinion or action is therefore treated with a great deal of skepticism within this framework, and given an enormously high barrier of evidentiary standard of extreme harm to overcome.”

            That’s nice. If at any point you’d like to actually weigh in on a meaningful level as to what meets this evidentiary standard, let me know.

            6. “As for WotC, having this power, I fundamentally disagree as such an arrangement puts the company in an authoritarian position where they can dictate to the community what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior.”

            Oh please. Literally every online game ever does this to get people banned when they violate terms of service. Don’t insult my intelligence with this garbage line.

            7. “Only the individual has the power to decide whether another is being a jerk, and only subjectively. No person is infallible with a perfectly balanced sense of ethics and morality, so we cannot make objective moral claims about other’s actions or opinions.”

            So we can’t prove in any way that any idea is better than any other idea, so all ideas are valid, including completely contradictory ideas, and so…no ideas are valid.

            Glad we had this exercise.

          • David Harrison

            1. Given your avatar should I be surprised?

            2. No evidence of such a harassment campaign has been given, only accusations tossed about. If there is indeed evidence of this then it is a matter for police authorities, and not for a private company who is not bound by any evidentiary standard. Giving WotC or any company this power is an invitation to corruption.

            3. Here you rely on two, so I will refer you back to the police who are bound by the laws made by our elective representatives, and not the subjective determination of a private company. I’m not sure what you mean by Liberalism has not cornered the market on criticism, but nonetheless these actions are being taken by a company headquartered in a country founded on Classical Liberalism whose population, generally speaking, support these values. At the moment we simply have deep disagreements on how best to act out these beliefs. My claim though is not based on an objective standard, but a normative one in that in a country built on a Liberal framework whose populace generally supports Liberalism we can have a normative expectation that the companies we buy our products from and work for support these values.

            4. Your dismissing all of the valid critiques post-modernism has of modernism in a single fell swoop. Suffice to say that the notions of historical determinism and historical dialectic caused enough suffering in the past century and a half that they should be relegated to the trash bin of history. We don’t know where our society is headed, and we don’t know that the choices we make today will lead us to a better tomorrow. Silencing a critical opinion simply because we don’t agree with him is thus morally suspect as we have no objective basis to stand upon. As far as critique needing a positive aspect to be valid I whole heartedly disagree. It is far easier to identify an action or expression you don’t agree with then it is to articulate those that you do agree with. Simply because an individual is incapable of or choose no to articulate what he finds acceptable does not imply he has no right to comment on the matter.

            5. Refer back to two and three. Harassment is a matter for the police who have a legally defined evidentiary standard.

            6. Yes I’m aware, but WotC actions fall outside these established parameters as they concern actions that have taken place on platforms that have naught to do with their products. If you want to argue that companies should protect their player bases then fine we are in agreement on that, but this can be achieved by giving users the ability to prevent communication between themselves and others such as blocks. If blocked individual tries to circumnavigate these blocks then there is a legitimate case for the company to intervene. Also, save your venom for the trolls.

            7. No I am saying that subjective truths such as “I feel X” or “I judge Y to be Z” cannot reach the level of objective truths such as “It is 23 degrees outside”. Subjective truths reach the level of social norms when a consensus is reached. That doesn’t imply that they represent a model of objective truth, only an agreed upon model of social norms. In this case there is clearly a deep division regarding whether what was done was in breach of these norms, so attempting to invoke social norms is clearly premature.

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            2. “No evidence of such a harassment campaign has been given, only accusations tossed about. If there is indeed evidence of this then it is a matter for police authorities, and not for a private company who is not bound by any evidentiary standard. Giving WotC or any company this power is an invitation to corruption.”

            Which is irrelevant since the police are not given any semblance of actual authority on the subject of evidentiary standard except for its monopoly on violence. Given my low opinion of policing in general, appealing to authority by saying they represent such a standard is hilarious.

            Instead, give me something actually useful in terms of an explanation as to what constitutes evidentiary standard. Or else outside of what is immediately legal or illegal, we again fall into the subjectivist trap of deciding that everything is equal ever. And I’m not sure “everything that is subjective is equal unless the men with guns say otherwise” is a particularly useful standard.

            3. “Here you rely on two, so I will refer you back to the police who are bound by the laws made by our elective representatives, and not the subjective determination of a private company.”

            And here I will refer to the fact that a blind appeal to authority is meaningless to me, whether it comes from power divested from “elected officials” or not. More to the point, it is still an utter failure to address instances where evidentiary standard is apparently needed for situations that fall outside the law, i.e. bans on online games for breech of service.

            ” I’m not sure what you mean by Liberalism has not cornered the market on criticism, but nonetheless these actions are being taken by a company headquartered in a country founded on Classical Liberalism whose population, generally speaking, support these values. At the moment we simply have deep disagreements on how best to act out these beliefs. My claim though is not based on an objective standard, but a normative one in that in a country built on a Liberal framework whose populace generally supports Liberalism we can have a normative expectation that the companies we buy our products from and work for support these values.”

            Okay. But seeing as how I’m interested in moving past liberalism and moving society towards an all-together better system, I find it pointless to dwell on measures that seem outdated to me. The difference between asking me to measure behavior by liberal standards vs medieval chivalry standards is how much opposition I expect to face. And given my opposition to subjectivism in general, you can imagine that’s not a compelling argument.

            4. “Your dismissing all of the valid critiques post-modernism has of modernism in a single fell swoop.”

            “Valid” lol

            “Suffice to say that the notions of historical determinism and historical dialectic caused enough suffering in the past century and a half that they should be relegated to the trash bin of history.”

            Compared to rampant capitalism, not even close.

            5. “We don’t know where our society is headed, and we don’t know that the choices we make today will lead us to a better tomorrow. Silencing a critical opinion simply because we don’t agree with him is thus morally suspect as we have no objective basis to stand upon.”

            Which would mean something if I had no objective standard, but I do. My criticism this whole time has been that liberalism and post-modernism thrives on the idea that there are no objective standards, which is itself hilarious. On matters of opinion, certainly. Where there is actually, literally no objective standard, sure. Where we differ is where those objective standards lie, how we derive them, and how we apply them. And, probably, how many they are given post-modernist and liberal predilection towards thinking every idea is legitimate and that “inferior ideas” naturally filter themselves out.

            Because, ya know, the reason we have to debate racism *again* is because over the last 70 years we simply forgot all the arguments we developed against it.

            “As far as critique needing a positive aspect to be valid I whole heartedly disagree.”

            lol

            “It is far easier to identify an action or expression you don’t agree with then it is to articulate those that you do agree with. Simply because an individual is incapable of or choose no to articulate what he finds acceptable does not imply he has no right to comment on the matter.”

            You conflate the rights of an individual to comment with the quality of their criticism. Just because someone has the right to say something doesn’t mean what they say has any value. And if it has no value, it has no validity, which is to say it simply is not worth acting upon. Which is crucial, because that’s the point of criticism.

            5. “Refer back to two and three. Harassment is a matter for the police who have a legally defined evidentiary standard.”

            Also refer back to 2 and 3, I don’t consider the police a legitimate authority on the matter and you have yet to present a compelling argument why police standards should literally be applied to everything ever, from legal harassment to moderators banning people on private forums.

            6. “Yes I’m aware, but WotC actions fall outside these established parameters as they concern actions that have taken place on platforms that have naught to do with their products.”

            It’s a community built around their products and they organize events around it. I’m not particularly keen on such limited, mechanical views of what communities should be doing.

            “If you want to argue that companies should protect their player bases then fine we are in agreement on that”

            Except you didn’t agree with that when you decided it was an authoritarian extension of the company’s abilities.

            “but this can be achieved by giving users the ability to prevent communication between themselves and others such as blocks. If blocked individual tries to circumnavigate these blocks then there is a legitimate case for the company to intervene.”

            Except, once again, in the case of communities like online games you can seek further measures than just blocking people you don’t like. If someone uses racial epithets in chat, I don’t just block them, I report them for a ban. It’s not transactional, it’s a question of moderating the whole of a community to prevent increasing toxicity.

            “Also, save your venom for the trolls.”

            Why? What is and is not venom is subjective. Where is the evidentiary standard to suggest otherwise?

            7. “No I am saying that subjective truths such as “I feel X” or “I judge Y to be Z” cannot reach the level of objective truths such as “It is 23 degrees outside”. Subjective truths reach the level of social norms when a consensus is reached. That doesn’t imply that they represent a model of objective truth, only an agreed upon model of social norms. In this case there is clearly a deep division regarding whether what was done was in breach of these norms, so attempting to invoke social norms is clearly premature.”

            And yet, measures of “objectivity” and “subjectivity” are best established through prediction. If we are able to accurately predict outcomes over and over again before they happen, we can say there is a strongly objective component.

            So, if we know repeatedly that toxic communities spring up where masses of nerds continue to congregate and bring out the worst in one another, it’s fair to say that there’s some semblance of objective standard that we need to start measuring. And instead of pretending that “EVERYONE HAS A SUBJECTIVE OPINION” is sufficient grounds for letting anyone say and do what they want we actually look at how groups of people behave and curb bad behaviors, then maybe, just maybe, we might end up in a situation where cosplayers aren’t being harassed out of their hobbies.

            So no, I don’t think “social norms” is sufficient when “social norms” are exclusionary. That doesn’t progress anything.

          • David Harrison

            This discussion drifted way beyond the scope of the immediate issue, so let’s try to bring it back because I think we can resolve our disagreement on that point rather easily. We can then explore our philosophical differences further if you wish.

            What I would need to change my mind regarding this issue is videos, tweets, or posts showing either an explicit call to action to harassment, or a sustained pattern of behavior of personal attacks.

            If anyone can provide this then, regardless of our underlying disagreements, I will agree with you that Jeremy is in the wrong, and deserves some form of punishment.

            Are you willing to proceed along those lines in an attempt to reach a point of agreement?

          • Txabi Etxebarrieta

            You know, I would have, but my posts are now getting removed. So I guess I don’t see much of a point in continuing any discussion, really.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            The private club that has a clear code of conduct that you agreed to when you joined the club?

          • euansmith

            Don’t they just? Oh, yes, by George, strict… very, very, strict.

          • Jooster

            Freedom of speech is about the government not trampling over your right to say what you want. Just the government.

            It does not and should not provide any protection from a private company removing you from doing business with them.

          • Evil Otto

            No, the First Amendment is about government not trampling your right. There’s far more to free speech than that. For example, a mob may silence people, preventing them from speech. A company may remove you, but that is in no way free speech.

    • generalchaos34

      if keeping these bullies around is what makes the game work then I want to see it in the ground even faster.

  • euansmith

    That is some cool cosplay. I really don’t understand the kind of mindset that attacks such things, or the “intrusion” of “outsiders” in to a geeky hobby. I also don’t understand the kind of mindset that defends such bullying.

    • orionburn III

      Proper journalism is dead. All the articles I’ve seen have been this person said mean things and got banned. I have yet to see anybody post a link or do a summary story (like this one) that actually sheds some light on what this is all about, and take both sides into account. I’m not giving anyone a pass on this. I just want an honest account of what the hell happened.

      • Koen Diepen Van

        Do you really expect journalist to care about this stuff?

        • orionburn III

          Professional? No, of course not. But if you write for a gaming site and it’s a gaming article it would be nice to see somebody take the proper time to put together a decent article with all the facts. This is pretty much copypasta from another site. I’m not being critical of this site alone. It’s with all of them that I’ve seen this story on.

          • Koen Diepen Van

            If you have that kind of time i would say go for it BOLS is slow badly written badly coded and full of error´s I for one would love to have a site whit more quality to go to but i think the market is to nice to justify the time spend.

      • euansmith

        The second video includes some of the banned dude’s comments and they seem pretty objectionable to me. It also points out that directly attacking the dude is bad too. But, yeah, journalism is dead; though I’m not sure it has ever really been very lively.

        • orionburn III

          I can’t get videos here at work so I’ll have to check it out later. Some of the stuff I heard was pretty nasty (assuming it was in fact said) from other articles. It’s too easy for comments to be taken out of context, there are also times where there’s no polishing certain things that are said.

          At the end of the day we all want to be taking part in a good community and see dirt bag players out of the game. It’s the best way of achieving that without it leading to other problems that is difficult.

        • Dennis J. Pechavar

          Sadly IMO in the States as least it is now more about getting the story out first and giving a correction later. The number of views etc is more important than the facts or who/what it hurts. Also bias is getting blatant and sickening. This is all journalism no one side is innocent.

          • There is no money in good journalism. There is a lot of money in bad journalism. You get what you pay for.

          • euansmith

            That is an excellent summation of a sad state of affairs.

          • Xodis

            A lot of times the corrections are a small blurb at the very end of the article that most people never read anyways lol

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean to be fair, most people don’t even read the articles anymore. they just read the title and jump to the comment section, hehe.

          • Xodis

            True Story.

          • euansmith

            Hey, reporting the news is hard! It doesn’t make it self up, you know!

      • Jooster

        The summary is in the Professor’s video. And as for honesty, you won’t get it as far as UnsleevedMedia is concerned. He deletes any videos or tweets that build up too much heat and pretends they never happened.

        You’ll see from others who screenshot his stuff though, the guy is unsavoury to say the very least.

    • Rasheed Jones

      Literally what bullying. Telling someone you don’t like them is not bullying.

      • euansmith

        I think that repeatedly telling someone you don’t like them is bullying.

        • Rasheed Jones

          I don’t actually agree, but even so, I’d like some evidence of unprovoked repetition. He will usually talk about something once then only repeat himself if someone brings him up.

  • David Leimbach

    This will be the end of MtG. Everyone with hurt feelings over the slightest thing will use their new found powers to tear the community apart. Why blow off some rude comment and forget about it when you can file a complaint and get someone banned for life!
    Horrendous policy and will create huge rifts as everyone flaunts their differences hoping someone from a group they dislike will dare trespass and give them any excuse.

    • mugginns

      What if instead of that, more people start playing because the toxic neckbeards aren’t driving people away?

      • Hahboo

        What if the people who would call other people toxic neckbeards are the toxic people that need to be culled?

        • mugginns

          What if! Intolerance of the intolerant, clearly a bannable offense.

          • David Harrison

            Justifying intolerance by claiming other people are intolerant implicitly assumes one has higher moral virtue than others. If you truly see yourself in this light, then I recommend you to take some time to reflect on your own moral shortcomings, which we all have, before handing out your judgments of others. Perhaps afterwards you will find that you no longer believe yourself so refined as to know whether it is your opinion or the other’s which is the intolerant one.

          • mugginns

            I know I have some moral shortcomings. They don’t have anything to do with creating a toxic atmosphere for people who aren’t like me in a gaming space.

            This isn’t hard.

          • David Harrison

            From the perspective of the ten thousand people who have signed the petition to have the bans reversed, perhaps your moral shortcomings are in thinking that you know what is the best objective moral standard for measuring the actions, opinions, and expressions of other people. Perhaps these ten thousand people would say because of that your moral shortcomings are precisely to do with creating a toxic atmosphere in a gaming space for people who share their views.

            So either you claim yourself the moral superior of these ten thousand people you have never met with a better capability to judge the actions others, or you admit that perhaps the issue is not as simple as you are portraying it, and that there are multiple valid interpretations that are open to debate which are prematurely being shut down by appealing to WotC to act in authoritarian manner by excluding the people you disagree with.

          • JN7

            It isn’t that hard to come up with 10K virtual signatures for anything. Given the existence of repugnant groups like the incels and GamerGaters, hatred in numbers is nothing new.

          • David Harrison

            JN7 I’m sure you mean well, but by characterizing those that disagree with you as motivated by hate rather than by a different understanding of the facts or a different set of values you are, in your conception, stripping away from them their moral agency.

            The problem with this as I see it is that taking away an individual’s moral agency is a key component in dehumanizing that person, and dehumanizing others is dangerous because it can be exploited as a license to act towards them in ways we would otherwise find immoral.

            We would generally do well to withhold moral judgement of one another until we’ve spoken to each, and seen what sits at the bottom of each others concerns. In this particular instance I disagree with WotC’s actions because I have not seen substantial evidence that justifies these actions. If there were such evidence of an explicit call to harass or a continuous pattern of behavior on Jeremy’s part then I would say that he is deserving of some punishment. What I’ve seen so far are allegations and a few instances or harsh language, but not a campaign of harassment that can be laid at Jeremy’s feet.

          • JN7

            I’m going to assume you aren’t trying to defend incels or GGs, because those are absolutely hate groups. The base of this dude’s argument is that women aren’t cool enough for his boys only club. That’s a pretty obvious case of misogyny. You can try to dress it up as “just jokes” or “speaking his mind,” but in either case it comes back to hate, and propagation of hate.

          • Rasheed Jones

            Gamergate was not a hate group. You’re obviously a member of a hate group because I can find mean things you said and accusations of mean things you may have said.

          • JN7

            If you are claiming that a group responsible for multiple death threats, doxxing, and continual harassment isn’t a hate group, I think we’re done here.

          • Rasheed Jones

            If its a hate group how come the FBI investigation couldn’t come up with any credible threats to attribute to gamergate, most of the so called threats come from people attributed to gamergate who don’t even attribute themselves to gamergate. I feel like you’re just dismissing my opinion because I’m black.

          • David Harrison

            You’ve articulated the position of Jeremy’s critics, which is fine, but having watched this issue blow up over the last two weeks I deeply disagree that this is in any way what Jeremy is saying.

            This is my gripe with the presentation of this article, it’s deeply one-sided, and fails to present any of Jeremy’s counter-arguments or those of other youtube channels that support his position. It also fails address any of the egregious behavior including false flagging and doxxing his critics have engaged in.

            Neither Jeremy nor his critics’ hands are completely clean in this matter, and suggesting that they are in the way this article does is deeply disingenuous.

          • mugginns

            I admit I am morally superior to anyone who thinks WOTC shouldn’t keep players out that have a toxic method of treating people who aren’t like them.

          • David Harrison

            Alright then, we’re pretty close in agreement on that, our only point of contention I see is whether this is the duty of WotC to inflict or the freedom of the community to disassociate from those who discriminate. Either way we agree that harassers shouldn’t be welcomed into the community.

            The major discussion appears to be regarding whether Jeremy actually engaged in behavior that could reasonably be termed harassment. I’ll certainly concede he said mean things on a few occasions, but I haven’t seen evidence to substantiate the claim that engaged in an ongoing pattern of targeted behavior or explicitly called for his followers to act in such a way.

            I’ve not yet seen such evidence despite the fact that this controversy has been going on since Thanksgiving weekend. Absent this evidence I find Jeremy’s punishment to be unwarranted, and unable to substantiated on moral grounds. If anyone produces said evidence I will be persuaded to change my mind, and take the position that Jeremy has passed the line of what is acceptable conduct and is deserving of some form of opprobrium.

      • euansmith

        Toxicus Collum Barbatum; too extreme even for Nurgle.

      • Evil Otto

        “Toxic neckbeards” is offensive. Apologize.

        • mugginns

          Fake news!

        • mugginns

          Found the snowflake!

          • Evil Otto

            So you think I was serious?

      • Drpx

        My antisocial nerd game would be more popular if we just got rid of the antisocial nerds.

      • Rasheed Jones

        You calling him a toxic neck beard is literally the same as what he was banned for, you should be banned from magic.

    • I hope you are right, I’ve always hated mtg

  • Fixer40000

    WOTC Announces it shall be more inclusive by permanently excluding people.

    In other news, the beatings shall continue until morale improves.

    • generalchaos34

      Well its a bit more complex than that actually….

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

      There will be no such thing as a completely free and tolerant society, just a slightly tolerant slightly free society

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      HYPOCRITES

      HOW DARE YOU.

      YOU SAY YOU WANT BETTER TOILET FACILITIES, BUT YOU DON’T ALLOW ME TO RELIEVE MYSELF ON THE FLOOR.

      DOUBLE STANDARD I THINK SO.

  • Maybe I’m getting old, What does Cosplay have to do with playing a card game? Did they add that to the rules or something?

    • euansmith

      It is for when you play legacy decks; like when GW brought out the legacy armies’ rules of AoS.

      • Well. Who knew. Another thing I’m glad not to be involved with.

        • euansmith

          I was joking, you know. 😉

          • haha. I didn’t. It wouldn’t have surprised me at all really.
            I’ve been following all the these Hobby/gaming controversies for a while.
            They’re just a train wreck and they seem to keep popping up, I guess for add revenue.

          • euansmith

            Sorry, I was alluding to the time when GW released all those lists for armies that didn’t make the cut moving from WFB to AoS. The Battle Scrolls had “fun” rules like pretending you were a dwarf, or drunk, or a drunken dwarf, to get bonuses to your rolls.

          • Apocryphus

            If you had Settra on the table, if you kneeled for any reason, you lost, because “Settra kneels before no one”. There’s having fun with your rules and there’s making them into a joke.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            If you have a beard you get a bonus…most women and young men don’t have the ability to grow a beard…Oh use a fake one. Silly me.

    • ZeeLobby

      Haha. It’s more just that their lumped into the same “community” and that ruffles some little boys feathers when girls show up.

      • I guess. I’ve been gaming for 20 years and have never seen boys get mad when girls show up to play.
        Two of them standing across from me at the Big game at Gamesday 06′ in Atlanta had some dirty mouths on them but in fairness I was kill their units very efficiently lol.

        • Apocryphus

          There was a male player ejected from an MLP TCG tournament for raising a stink and insisting the one female player that showed up be removed because MLP was “for boys only”. It’s weird, but it certainly does happen.

          • Xodis

            And he was serious? Sounds like a bad joke lol.

            I dont think we can call this person the “norm” though, just one of the more ridiculous people in the community. One who probably uses the nature of tournaments in order to force his presence on others.

          • Apocryphus

            He was serious, he was ejected for disruptive behavior and harrasment, he was actually yelling at the TO about it. And certainly that is not the norm, thank goodness, but that it happens at all is pretty embarrassing for the rest of us.

          • Xodis

            Yeah…wow lol. Everyday I seem to lose more respect for humanity hehe

          • euansmith

            I hope that someone checked up on him afterwards. That doesn’t sound like healthy behaviour.

          • euansmith

            That sounds sad for all involved,

        • ZeeLobby

          It happens a lot. Nerdy MtG men aren’t always the most well-adjusted of individuals…

        • thereturnofsuppuppers

          mostly happens online.

          Guess the anonymity brings out the worst in some people.

          • I don’t know how much anonymity does to make some people more openly mean. I look at it more, now days, like Thulsa Doom said. ” People have no grasp of what they do”.

  • Hahboo

    This is what happens when you dedicate your entire life to being an e-celeb

  • Txabi Etxebarrieta

    Lord almighty, it’s kind of tiring how hard people work at being inconsiderate in the nerdsphere.

  • MKG35

    I must admit I’m conflicted bullying is wrong but in this case cant you just not watch his videos and if a Tweet either ignore or just reply to it with “Dick” if you make yourself an internet star then unfortunately you must expect some trolling and abuse as some people are jerks and feel safe to vent bile from the safety of their basement, its unfortunately the downside of being connected to so many people.

    • Apocryphus

      Horrible people saying horrible things on the internet is certainly to be expected, but I don’t think it’s really an excuse for the behavior, not to say you are excusing it. If WOTC taking this action discourages negative and toxic behavior in the future, I think it will help the community as a whole in the future.

  • Niklas Wallin

    BOLS you are barking up a tree infested with razorwing flocks. Quit it before the flock awaken

    • Commissar Molotov

      But the clicks, man. They need the clicks.

      • euansmith

        This stuff is pure click-gold.

  • David Harrison

    It’s interesting that the article’s author has chosen to embed videos of USM’s critics, but not of USM’s responses to these critiques. He’s also described the response of his supporters as such, “As you can imagine, the wailing and gnashing of teeth has begun in full.” One could presume from this that the article’s author is biased in favor of one party based on accusations made rather than on substantiated evidence, but I will be generous and suppose this not to be the case.

    Given that then, there is a question regarding whether company’s should be given the power to determine what is legitimate and what is illegitimate forms of expression and criticism among its player base, as well as whether or not companies should respond to complaints of interpersonal conflicts among their customers with punishments such as the ones handed out by WoTC. My position is that such actions cannot be justified as neither these companies nor the sub-factions within their customer base have a monopoly on morality or ethics.

    When there is a split in the communities regarding what constitutes acceptable behavior this is best resolved by both dialogue and the choice of each community member to freely associate or disassociate with each other member. What’s more, social media platforms provide block tools to prevent targeted harassment of one individual by another, so we can be assured that such freedom to disassociate does exist. Through this process we can democratically and freely decide what is an acceptable form of expression in the main culture of the hobby, as well as allow more coarse and rebellious subcultures to exist on either side of the political spectrum.

    However, when we allow the companies that produce these games the sole authority to make these decisions for us we are giving them the truly dangerous power to remove any person, at any time, for any reason. If you are currently in agreement with the opinion of the company, then this may seem to you to be a good idea, but culture inevitably changes, and perhaps one day you will find yourself on the wrong side of the company’s judgments. This predicament quite manifestly makes a mockery of the term “Inclusion” being used in this articles title. Instead what is being advocated is excluding individuals for holding dissenting opinions or expressing them in ways the author personally finds to be unpalatable. Perhaps the intentions are noble, but advocacy for such social exclusion and censorship on the institutional level seems an abandonment of the core ideas of self-determination for all that sits at the heart of liberalism. We must remember that these philosophical tenants have, from the beginning, been articulated not only in terms of government censure, but also in terms of social and self censor as well.

    For those that applaud these bans, perhaps take a moment to look inwards, and consider whether you posses the wisdom, knowledge, and forethought needed to fairly adjudicate when such powers should be wielded.

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      that was certainly something… HA that ending, oh dear.

  • bryanp319

    It’s really not as simple as people are making this out to be. The question is really what kind of precedent does this set. Obviously it can be argued otherwise but it appears that what this guy did falls far short of what should be defined as targeted harassment. He said some critical and crass things about her sure. But was is continuous or was it directed at her. No. On top of that this has nothing to do with his behavior at WOTC sponsored events, this digs into Facebook and Twitter posts often times several months old. Starts to feel a little bit like Bladerunner at a certain point. Then of course there is the oxymoron of promoting inclusivity by excluding people.

  • euansmith

    On a more of less related point, is the MtG tournaments played with fixed decks, making it a bit like poker; where the skill is calculating the odds and reading your opponent?

    • No. Unless things have drastically changed.

      • euansmith

        So, you build a deck and take it along? Like 40k list building, only with rare and expensive card combos?

        After asking the question, I was thinking I might have heard in the past about closed deck games, where everyone gets a set deck plus some boosters, but my memory is really not very reliable.

        • Yes. Our local shop used to also hole closed deck event but those were to sell packs of cards the evening of the event. Those cost roughly the same as entry to their usual Friday night tournament. MtG wasn’t really something I kept up with. My friends played and would bey every new set that came out. They’d hand me cards every now and then but out side of silly friendly games It wasn’t my thing.

          • euansmith

            Please tell me that top MtG players are called, “Deck-athletes”.

    • Commissar Molotov

      No, but you used to see the same deck archetypes over and over – find the broken element in the card (or rules-set), and abuse it. Rinse and repeat.

      …Kinda like another hobby we all love!

      • euansmith

        Only with million dollar prize money?! :O

  • thereturnofsuppuppers

    Magic the Gathering players aren’t very good at handling complicated social interactions.

    It is to be expected with such a competitive minded community.

    Then again, we wargamers are a bunch of prats as well.

    • euansmith

      I think that I have progressed from being a prat, to being a fully fledged wazzock.

  • Anything with a competitive atmosphere is going to lead to cretinous behavior. Be it card games, wargames, or athletics and everything in between.

    • Rainthezangoose

      Just because something leads to something doesn’t mean it should be tolerated. If anything the opposite is true.

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        I think the argument should be that it would help if it was just a bit less competitive as a community.

      • It shouldn’t be tolerated. But youre not dealing with alpha type personalities when you get into the gaming-verse. You’re dealing with a lot of beta personalities that don’t like conflict, so dickish behavior would thrive.

    • Jabberwokk

      Man these kids would be eaten alive in the FGC(Fighting Game Community).

      • Apocryphus

        Some of the nicest people I’ve met IME 😛

        • Jabberwokk

          Once you get to know them and there not buttering you up for money matches 😀

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      I disagree. I think people expect toxicity and therefore tacitly approve of it when it arises. You can be competitive and not be a dick.

      • You *can* be, sure. But it would seem the more competitive one is, the greater the odds of them being a dick.

        There is of course no way to quantify, but from my experience in a football locker room for several years, an army barracks, competitive magic, competitive wargames, and any other competitive environment I’ve ever been in, the propensity for dickish behavior seems to rise exponentially.

        • euansmith

          Auticus’ Law: the more competitive the atmosphere, the more the likeliness of dickish behavoiur tends towards “1”.

  • Legitimancer

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes, Jeremy.

  • EnTyme

    How hard is it to just not be a dick?

    • ZeeLobby

      Don’t read the comment section! XD

    • Koonitz

      Judging by how often stories like this arise, from all aspects of these types of hobbies (I include video games under this umbrella, too)….

      Very difficult.

    • Xodis

      Being a dick is the new norm apparently. Seriously look at the political climate, politicians and their supporters on both sides have lost all semblance of civility.

      • orionburn III

        And then read the comments section of any site and lose that last tiny shred of hope you had for mankind…lol

        • ZeeLobby

          We’re all doomed!!!

      • Dennis J. Pechavar

        I made the mistake of discussing politics with a friends spouse. It is known what their stance was on an issue(yes I’m being vague as we don’t need flame wars) and I wanted to understand why. Note that at no time did I say I disagreed but asked for facts so as to be able to better understand and make a logic based answer. Ended up leaving soon after as it became personal attacks and emotional rants. Again all I asked was for clarification. Six years ago that wouldn’t have happened with this person. Society is getting so toxic and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

        • Xodis

          I completely agree. Ive seen it far too often myself. Asking anyone to support their argument with any sustainable evidence seems to be “taboo”. Ive lost a few friends simply because I presented evidence contrary to their beliefs.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Hear you on that. My mother in law and I are not allowed to talk politics. She insists on not using facts. But denies any that I use.

    • Rasheed Jones

      Calling someone a dick is on the same level as what he did to be banned so, apparently too hard for you.

  • Tom Evans

    Do something outside of WotC Events with any level of controversy?
    Lose the MTGO stuff you paid money for and get banned from tourneys.
    Travis Woo Made a facebook post and got a 1 year ban.

    WotC got me into gaming, but this isn’t the WotC of 1995. Being someone who has spent quite a bit of money on D&D products, looks like I’ll take that money elsewhere. I don’t want to be barred from Adventurer’s League because I’m on a meme group somewhere or say something funny or critical that might miff someone else.

    It’s a terrible precedent.

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      I think that might be a bit hyperbolic. Its not like you’re one of the largest MtG influencers.

      • ZeeLobby

        XD

      • Tom Evans

        So if I don’t do well in tourneys and don’t make videos promoting MtG, it’s ok to be a troll or make a post on facebook? Forgive me for thinking this, but it comes across as a double standard.
        Players who get caught cheating can face lesser penalties than this.

        • Xodis

          Whats the normal punishment for cheaters? Im honestly curious as Im not in the MtG scene.

          • Rasheed Jones

            like a 1 month ban for cheating.

          • Xodis

            Wow lol. So thats pathetic, their event slaps one on the wrist for an intentional action, yet lifetime bans for anyone that is mean to another person outside of the authority of said tournament.

        • thereturnofsuppuppers

          Yes, that’s exactly it.

          That’s how things work. If you have a larger audience you are at more risk of a company shutting you down. They are entitled to protect their brand.

          In this case the response is proportional to the influence a person has.

          I don’t really know much about cheating in MtG other than its pretty rampant.

  • Leo Bohm

    What’s your kid’s name? It’s cool to flame and harass that kid for years and years to come, until he’s completely broken inside. This is cool with you, right? Kid’s not a snowflake after all.

  • mugginns
  • SilentPony

    Oh I’m not touching this BStorm with a 5-kilometer Emperor Class Battleship…

  • Ultramarian

    It’s interesting to read people saying “WotC is killing the game” end of the day it’s their game and their rules to be enforced how they see fit. Short term it might sting but no company wants to be associated with sexism or promoting an environment of harassment. Cough Harvey Winestein Cough

    • Rasheed Jones

      He is accused of being sexist he wasn’t actually sexist. He’s got no problem with girls in the game, he has said as much.

  • dave long island

    So much drama. So very much drama. Nerds+Gaming+Chicks=all the drama you can handle!.. I’m getting the popcorn popped!.. lol

  • bryanp319

    So how’s this. My Tau keep getting beaten by armies with codexes. I’m going to quit playing warhammer because I feel like people are harassing me when I lose and GW obviously hates Tau players because they don’t have a codex.

    I will leave my go fund me information here so you can support me in my struggle against the toxic Tau player hating warhammer community. If you don’t contribute you are part of the problem.

  • marxlives

    GW could ban people from GW stores but I have not lived and seen a GW store. America is FLGS country.

    • bryanp319

      MTG is different in that there is an international organization that sanctions most major MTG events and he has been banned from that Org which means he can’t participate in most Magic related events.

      • marxlives

        There are differences but the rub of it is, that every GW store has to adhere to international laws but also domestic laws when it comes to compliance. As private companies each can ban people from events or even the grounds of their business as long as it does not violate the laws of that nation. Could you participate in events not hosted or sanctioned officially by the company? Yes. In the U.S. you can ban a specific person from your business, it has happened before, and refusing to serve. You can even refuse to serve people based on what they wear. So here private business have more leniency in how they choose to run things. So could GW produce a list of players and ban them from participating or even selling good sto people from their stores in the U.S.? Sure. Would their ban affect FLGS? No.

        • bryanp319

          Right but in the case of MTG an event has to be DCI sanctioned otherwise it is seen as illegitimate. Which does effectr FLGS as WOTC does not have corporate stores they sell almost exclusively through FLGS.

          • marxlives

            I agree with you on that point. Pretty good observation, the official sanctioned events are run through FLGS so in a way it has a larger scope or magnitude than a GW store ban.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Except most local stores run sanctioned events, which require DCI membership (they run sanctioned events because WotC provides prize and event support, as well as offering better deals for product as your store grows in popularity and attendance at events run at the store go up).

      So he is basically forced to either run his own events or at small FLGSes where they do not have the playerbase to support sanctioned play.

      • marxlives

        You and bryanp319 make some good points there.

  • Luciferiel

    The “harassment” in question.
    https://youtu.be/Ale7CrTIloI

  • Armando Patiño

    This is all Bull, get both sides of the story before writting an article like this. Put a link to the videos of the people afected by this, not only the one who complained, you will see all the “evidence” they had on the case was bull. Seems like you are trying to stay on WotC good side…..shamefull display.

    • ZeeLobby

      BoLS stays on the good side of all games they sell.

    • euansmith

      The second video contains extracts from the banned dude’s videos.

      • Rasheed Jones

        and none of them even prove sprankles claim, and there are several videos disproving it. He talked about her once and tweeted about her once. That is not years of harassment, and all he said was that the game itself is more important than her cosplay. Oh nooooo

  • Drew

    Sheesh. Just be nice to each other, people, it’s not that hard. The popularity of people who make their name being jerks is sort of shocking to me. I don’t play Magic, but we as gamers across the board have tolerated the lowest common denominator of humanity in our community for way too long. Keep fighting the good fight, WotC.

  • Peter Almo

    This will be a huge mistake and will back fire. People should not receive a lifetime ban outside of stealing or other felony type actions. Heck even people who have been caught cheating at the highest level of play are allowed to return after a while. Dealing with person adversity is character building. There’s something to be said for heavy stiff upper lip, it builds toughness, grit, and as I said, character. With that said, I’m not opposed to their being repercussions for disparaging or malicious comments, but the repercussion should be a suspension of some sort, for some period of time. Giving the person time to reflect and change. “Disappearing” people you don’t like, or who say things you don’t agree with is far too Orwellian, far too Gestapo, to ever be seen in the long run as healthy. This will back fire.

    • Drew

      This isn’t a government “disappearing” a person- this is a private company running a for-profit event saying they won’t tolerate behavior that alienates their customers and supporters. They’re well within their legal rights.

      Also, Gestapo? Are you really going to trivialize the Holocaust by comparing a ban from a card game to people being rounded up and slaughtered because of their ethnicity or religious beliefs?

      You’re plenty entitled to disagree, but let’s keep perspective here.

      • David

        You were doing so good until you brought in a variant of Godwin’s law. You’re also historically incorrect – and Peter used the term correctly – an internally formed police force used to control dissenting opinions, with the ability to remove people without repercussions.
        Your argument was good… but you lost it when you went there.

        • Drew

          You may be right; it’s possible I misread the original poster’s intent. More likely, I think they were being unnecessarily hyperbolic (which was sort of my point). As a history teacher, when I see the term “Gestapo,” especially with the capitalization of the word, I assume the writer is specifically referring to the organization that existed in Germany from 1933-1945. I believed Godwin’s law was (unfortunately) already in play because the original poster had referenced the organization.

          In any case, my point was/is that the original poster using such a term is hyperbolic; there’s no relationship between the oversight or powers of the Gestapo and those of WotC in this (or any) case. If they had said “secret police,” I would still say they were going too far (I think calling a private company’s move “Orwellian” is too far, TBH), but specifically referencing the Gestapo was absurd.

          Glad you agreed with the rest of the post, though!

      • Peter Almo

        I think you would be well served to work hard on picking up on, and interpreting, nuance better. Someone can invoke the tone of a tactic in the abstract without making a literal correlation or connection. To say something is Gestapo-esque, or Orwellian, is to refer to a broad idea or approach to dealing with something you disagree with; it is categorically not the same thing as saying “wotc is just like the Gestapo.” Your comment about it not being a disappearing is obtuse, a lifetime ban from organized play is a literal disappearance from organized play, it’s not a controversial or difficult concept. “They’re will within their legal rights.” Who claimed they weren’t? Many things are “legal,” not everything is right, hence the “This will back fire,” which is not remotely equivalent to this isn’t legal. Finally, address the real meat of my comment, rather than conveniently overlooking it. Isn’t an open dialogue and a changing of hearts and minds, time for reflection and change, preferable to “you must go away now”?

        • Drew

          I would counter that I think you need to be more precise in your wording- when you refer to “disappearing” in the context of Orwellian/Gestapo/secret police about a card game, you’re being hyperbolic, not subtle or nuanced. As I’ve often told my students, I can’t grade you on what I think you meant, I have to grade you on what you put down on the paper. Sensationalizing your language doesn’t help your case (much as David kindly pointed out to me above when he felt I was doing the same).

          As it happens, hyperbole aside, I’m actually in favor of your alternative concept (that of a suspension with specific requirements for a return to the community). I think that’s far more productive in the long run- it gives the individual in question a motive to reform rather than just blow up the internet, sends the same message, and in the end is better for everybody. Unfortunately, it’s more work, riskier, and takes time rather than providing quite as a clear a “WHAM-we’ve handled this” moment, so it may be that WotC doesn’t consider it feasible.

          That said, it is better to remove a toxic element than to do nothing, so if WotC doesn’t see a way to rehabilitate or has contacted this individual before and determined that he is unwilling/unable to change (I have no idea if that is the case or not), I support their decision.

  • Kritarion

    Criticizing someone IS free speech.
    Free Speach does not protect you from violating a companies terms and services.
    This comment section makes me incredibly sad.

  • Zirkah

    Biased article, get a fuller picture of the story. They banned someone who started a private Facebook group in which OTHER people did things they found offensive. What if Steam looked through your social media and decided you had said something offensive and locked you out of your Steam account? These companies shouldn’t be acting like judgmental churches.

    https://youtu.be/UGFcLvDRJNQ

    • Except this isn’t equivalent to steam banning someone from playing their games, it’s like an MMO banning someone for violating their (private, arbitrary) TOS, which they’re entitled to do because it’s their network

      • Zirkah

        You don’t seem to know the facts of the case. These people never harass anyone through magic online (they account were revoked) and they did not harass anyone in person at a magic event.

        The player banned because he started a private FB group was lost a significant chunk of money because he was a pro and invited to a PT.

        • Yes, Wizards is a private company that runs private events, if in their opinion you violated the rules of their event, they have absolute power to ban you, just as an MMO has the power to permaban you for violating their TOS. He can still play magic as much as he wants, he just can’t play in any official events

          • Jabberwokk

            But isn’t the incident in question occurred outside the jurisdiction of Magic events? That is to say it never happened at said events?

          • Zirkah

            This is correct, and it did not happen on magic online either.

            Again, a pro banned (with real, thousands of dollars financial implications) because some other people in a private FB group he made said offensive things.

          • He should’ve considered a career where he wasn’t dependent on one company’s good graces, they owe him nothing, it’s actually hilarious, good riddance

          • Zirkah

            The courts may decide that, as they will with the case of whether wotc owed it’s judge community more for treating them like paid employees without any of the legal benefits of being employees.

            You lack empathy.

          • Lmao what grounds would he have to sue? He doesn’t have a contract with wizards, he’s not an employee

          • Zirkah

            See case of magic judges vs wotc

          • You understand why they sued, yes? Since he doesn’t work for wizards, he has no grounds to bring a lawsuit, any lawyer that would take his case would be unethical af taking that guy’s money lol

          • Zirkah

            Judges are not employed either, the case was about whether they should be considered volunteers or employees legally.

          • Correct, because in many states it’s illegal to work for for-profit business for free. Volunteer judges were in a grey area, the court cleared it up. Players in an event have no such ambiguity to exploit, just as gamblers can’t claim to be employees of a Casino

          • Zirkah

            I’m talking specifically about Travis Woo, a banned pro player, who has a similar arrangement with wotc as judges. (Similar not the same).

          • Again, there’s no ambiguity in the legal framework here, they can ban whoever they want

          • Zirkah

            Again, where money is involved (and there is plenty of it between wotc, judges and pro players) there is potential for action. Like I said, members of the MTG judge community opened a lawsuit against wotc. You can say they have no grounds, some lawyers disagreed.

          • Zirkah

            Ready to lose your steam account?

          • I don’t play video games homie

          • Jabberwokk

            OK thanks for clearing that up.

            I do feel while that is entirely unjust it is the right of a company to ban whom they like for any reason they want outside legal jurisprudence. At least as far as the law is concerned. Perhaps this self immolation will continue the trend of destruction and cause a change in attitude in Wizards…in the meantime it may be time to take business elsewhere for the time being.

          • Plz start a magic boycott, the lulz alone

          • ZeeLobby

            LOL

          • Jabberwokk

            One step ahead of you ol’ chum. I Don’t play magic and never have.

          • Me too! Let’s start a magic boycott under the guise of caring but in reality just to mess with people 😈

          • Zirkah

            Tzeentch would be proud 🙂

          • ZeeLobby

            I’m on board!

          • Jabberwokk

            I would prefer companies stay out of politics and just produce cool products. The Issue I’m having with this is making moral judgements on other humans without citing which moral standard we are appealing to and assuming the moral law giver is ourselves/themselves to pass judgement.

          • Yeah but I don’t care about your issue, I don’t think your opinion matters because you don’t own wizards. Now, if you want to nationalize WoTC and have the Government run them I’d be open to that conversation sure let’s do it let’s take over all the companies why not?

          • Jabberwokk

            Because your plan has a fatal flaw. Any governing body are comprised of the same humans who are in every way as corruptable and as decadent as those you seek to replace.

          • Not an actual plan, more hyperbole

          • What does that have to do with it? Wizards doesn’t even have to say why the banned someone. It’s a private event. They can ban someone for any reason other than a class of discrimination banned by law (and even then there’s still plenty of private clubs that get away with banning minorities through other exclusionary criteria to this day)

          • Zirkah

            Wizards does say why the banned these people. Get the facts man. We don’t need games companies managing our communities they aren’t churches.

          • They do, they don’t have to, however, just as I don’t have to invite you into my house party, it’s a private event

          • Zirkah

            Free association is frequently curbed in our society (not saying it should be) see anti-discrimination laws. The event hosts and store owners could be in charge of those decisions for their stores and events. If effects how they sell their products.

          • Except anti discrimination laws still allow people to be excluded individually for whatever reason, as I noted above, all white golf clubs and yaht clubs that exclude Jews etc persist to this day

          • Zirkah

            Not for whatever reason, just a few days ago the case between the baker and the gay couple went to the supreme Court.

          • Jabberwokk

            Oh so you maintain they can ban someone simply because they can, reasons don’t matter.

            If so I agree. They can do that.

          • Yeah, that’s always been my point, and if it hurts magic, good, I hate mtg. If it doesn’t, I also don’t care, I don’t play magic, lol

          • Zirkah

            Outrage mobs and bannings, coming to a hobby near you.

          • Next they’ll start having sportsmanship scores that can get people thrown out of 40k events! Wait… 🤔

          • Jabberwokk

            ok thanks for clearing that up.

      • Zirkah

        To be clear, they were not accused of harassing anyone at events or through magic online.

    • Helke

      Not sure why Jeremy even pulls Travis into this with him. Travis has said that he is okay with that ban, but he will try to appeal it’s length. He even admitted that he should have pulled the brakes after he got his warnings.

  • AWarhammerPlayer

    This reads as “Vain cosplayer Christine Sprankle can’t handle someone disliking her” and “WotC overreacts to save face.”. Suck it up buttercup.

    • Hahboo

      “Person who lives life for attention on the internet is shocked when they get attention they don’t approve of”

      • David Harrison

        Ironically this could apply to either Sprankle or Jeremy.

        • Hahboo

          Agreed. They’re both e-celeb attention-seekers.

  • RatBot

    How is it that elementary school children can understand being a jerk has consequences, but grown men struggle with the concept?

    Regardless, a LIFETIME ban does seem a bit harsh. But private entities can refuse service/admittance to pretty much anyone they please for pretty much any reason.

    • Exactly!

    • bryanp319

      I don’t think the legality of it is in question or if it is it shouldn’t be. It doesn’t have to be illegal to still be a dumb decision.

      • RatBot

        If it’s the lifetime bit that people think is a bad desicion, then sure. If it’s that this guy got punished at all for being an ***hat toward someone, then no. I would argue that thinking you should be able to be an ***hat toward someone and face no consequences is actually being a snowflake. It’s literally like being a 4 year old crying because he got spanked for being an ***hat toward other kids.

    • Rasheed Jones

      Yes they can do whatever they want, but that has nothing to do with how stupid what they did is. Just like hobby lobby can refuse to pay for birth control, but wait apparently they people could think they’re in the wrong (like I did).

  • Lennart Lucas

    First off, I have my doubts about her stopping because of harassment. Her patreon is on the lowest is has ever been when she made the statement that she had 2 years of abuse. While unsleeved made a few comments and a video about him disliking cos players and their fans, not even directly mentioning her.

    Secondly are we really going to ban a guy from a hobby and take away hundreds in online cards because they have a negative opinion about cos players? Really?

    To be honest, I don’t like the guy. I disagree on a lot of points. But this is waaaaaaay overboard.

    Also they looked over the store owner that posted unsleeveds home address and a map on how to get there… Disliking cosplay is a no no but doxing is fine 🙂

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      Christine’s original statement says that she objected to Jeremy’s harassment of her, but also of his vids/tweets on other people in the community.

      There has been quite a strong reaction to this from some creators coming out to call out Jeremy’s attacks on them.

      It seems that he thoroughly effected some creators in the community, so she seems to have a legitimate complaint.

      • Lennart Lucas

        Wasn’t that whole debacle like 6 months ago. I haven’t heard anything of it until this hit the fan.

        • thereturnofsuppuppers

          I think the whole thing has been simmering for quite a while now.

          With this episode being a culmination of a lot of tension in the community.

      • Zirkah

        I think part of the debate is; criticizing someone is not harassment or attacks.

        And the hypocrisy of the people trashing (and doxxing etc ) Jeremyso don’t agree with much of what Jeremy says).

        • Zirkah

          *I also don’t agree with much of what Jeremy says

        • thereturnofsuppuppers

          They are not mutually exclusive though. It is possible to harass someone using criticism.

          It is also possible to create a targeted scapegoat for perceived issues through criticisms, which with a large audience can lead to hate mobs.

          Jeremy is also feeling the effects of this from the backlash.

          • Zirkah

            Yes, also part of the question; is Jeremy responsible what everyone who may have been influenced by his criticism does?

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Yes.

            Though not directly responsible for each and every attack/horrible tweet, he has to take ownership of criticising Christine in an aggressive style with the understanding that his fans (many children) would emulate it.

            He is also somewhat guilty of not doing enough to prevent the effects of his drama vids/tweets. He has been called out on several occasions, other creators saying they get attacked after his vids come out, and so he would be aware of what he’s doing.

            There are plenty of examples of non
            MTG drama channels creating targeted harassment campaigns on youtube, so I think he also should have been aware of the problems he was potentially causing to others.

            I feel that there are also other ways of youtube criticism that do not lead to as much harassment, and it is the specific style that evolved on youtube that I take issue with.

            Edit: Its also worth saying that he profits from this type of video

          • Zirkah

            I think Jeremy should have had more tact as well.

            He was called out, but part of his response if that these creators have not substantiated their claims of harassment (screen cap etc).

            Also, seems like a slippery slope, by this logic the people who criticised Jeremy are (at least partly) responsible for the doxxing and death threats Jeremy has received.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Yes, I would agree they too are somewhat responsible for any harassment he gets.

            I would say there are stark differences in tone and content in the criticisms though.

          • Zirkah

            We get to the banning, should something as subjective as tone make it warrant a ban? or should all these people who are partly responsible for harassment (or may be responsible because in some cases there is little substantiation) be banned?

          • onlyonepinman

            Doxxing is Doxxing.
            A death threat is a death threat.

            There’s no stark difference

          • onlyonepinman

            I guess banning him for life means be’s not a member of the MtG community now. So MtG fans can dox him and threaten all they like without breaching the “code of conduct”

          • Rasheed Jones

            If Jeremy is responsible, then the professor needs to be thrown in jail for how his followers sent him death threats and doxxed him

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I think you rather missed the point of what I wrote.

          • Rasheed Jones

            No, I did not, as he also says in his videos not to contact people usually. If he’s responsible, so is the professor. Do you assume I’m stupid because I’m black or something.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Im also black mate? What are you talking about.

          • Rasheed Jones

            I did a bad job of it but the point I’m trying to get across is that I think he was banned not because of what he said, but because of who he said it too.

          • onlyonepinman

            But unless he actively encourages hate, he’s not responsible for the actions of his viewers as the slightly self absorbed guy in the second video seems to think

      • onlyonepinman

        She has a legitimate complaint in that she doesn’t like someone – we’re all totally entitled to have that complaint. What she doesn’t have is a legitimate case because all she has is her opinion that she doesn’t like him or his opinions. In a sane, rational world That’s not grounds for anything other than her having to suck it up. Thankfully for Sprankle and her friends we don’t live in one of those worlds

  • ZeeLobby

    I mean in the end, dude would have been fine if he just talked to the topic, instead of directly naming people…

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      I think it also has to do with youtube as a format.

      The algorithm and viewing audience often favours easily digestible outrage and drama. This can make some youtubers who may have previously focused on the hobby more reliant on drama as they see their audience swell.

      A youtuber can capitalise on this by over inflating perceived problems and creating targeted harassment campaigns by creating scapegoats for complex and nuanced issues.

      We can see this currently with Arch Warhammer, slowly turning from a really interesting warhammer lore channel to a drama channel that bashes internet feminists, gaining more views/money by being hyperbolic to an echo chamber of already convinced and ready to be outraged fans.

      • ZeeLobby

        yeah. That’s crazy. I mean there are definitely some that still produce solid content, but it does seem to devolve into drama often. I mean clearly he was trying to stir up stuff, especially by mentioning names. They really weren’t necessary to discuss the topic.

    • onlyonepinman

      Yeah, I get offended when people use my name too. That’s not what it’s for

  • Bernd Lurk

    What about Wizards harassing fans who create some nice software that uses MtG cards? Did they do something against that?

  • Dmitrij Pozdniakov

    How strange that article does not get into what that youtuber did to the the cosplayer lady.
    I feel more complite information would go a long way to ease the tension.
    People in the communities under infiltrator attack atm are understandably suspicious.

  • Sebastien Bazinet

    Lifetime ban over this seems a little drastic and, let’s be honest here, just a good PR move for WOTC considering that whole Weinstein situation right now. We all know if Christine would’ve been a guy that ban would not have been that harsh if there would have been one.

    • Rob brown

      If she had been a guy then Jeremy wouldn’t making salacious comments about how she gives him wood, uses her looks to beg for money or joke about the violation of women in game stores.

      For all those people who say Jeremy is entitled to freedom of expression… yes he does. Freedom of speech means he can legally post his opinions.

      However organized events are also a form of club and as such the organizer get to set standards of behavior for entry, and no one can force the organizers to allow access to someone who attacks them and their customers publicly.

      My Grandma would say “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I wish more of us could follow that maxim.

      • frank

        yea those are creepy comments for sure.

  • Rasheed Jones

    This person posting this is just getting behind this to cover his tracks, in real life he called me the n-word, and now he’s advocating banning other people.

    No this isn’t true I don’t know who this person is but by wizards “standards” they should be banned because I accused them, I’m sure I can find at least one time they called someone stupid on one of his social media accounts. That’s the “evidence” they used. A false accusation, and some stock insults online.

    • The_Illusionist

      I suggested that GW should follow an example, not that they should copy wholesale – mistakes, bias and all. Strawman much?

      Similarly, I don’t have a youtube channel dedicated to GW events that has been repeatedly flagged for abusive and discriminatory content. But let’s say that I did – not only have I made videos wherein I have made such slurs that Youtube has removed them from public view, but also that I have still insulting (but not quite AS insulting) videos posted online. Would that not be evidence enough for GW, the company I’m attempting to associate myself with, to use as reason to refuse me access to their events?

      Because this is exactly what happened to Unsleeved Media – they spent years building up a legacy of EULA violations and internet drama, and now it’s come back to bite them.

      Is that unfair? I don’t think so.

      • Rasheed Jones

        There is no example worth following here. I don’t think his content was abusive or discriminatory. What they did is that they banned someone for not liking other people in the community. That’s the example they set.

  • Rasheed Jones

    Using this logic, you should be banned from magic cause you called someone a “ridiculous jerk” somewhere on the internet.

    • Rob brown

      Surely you see there is a difference between unspecified criticism of ‘ridiculous jerks’ and targeted video campaigns posting photos to humiliate people; making unfounded, outrageous and damaging accusations; making jokes about the abuse of women; or objectifying specific people.

      Can you see there is a difference between those two things? A sense of proportionality?

      • Rasheed Jones

        I don’t see a targeted video campaign, I also didn’t see any objectification of women, or unfounded and damaging accusations. I haven’t seen jokes about the objectification of women. Where is any of this. Its like me saying your dismissing my opinion because I’m black, not because you disagree with me. What do you have against black people?

        • Rob brown

          What on earth are you talking about Rasheed, what has the color of a persons skin got to do with the quality of their argument. Please stop strawmanning.

          Watch the twenty or so minutes of video above which has video clips of Jeremy making those jokes, posting photos of people humiliating them or insulting them. He refers to specific cosplayers who give him wood and jokes about r@pe in gaming stores. Let’s be clear there is no doubt he has done these things… you can see it in the video.

          • Rasheed Jones

            I’ve seen the videos, and the “jokes about r@pe” IIRC are him joking that it doesn’t really happen. Him talking about which cosplayers give him wood were him making fun of people who give to their paetreons. I saw both the professors videos and the originals. The reason I bring up my skin color is that its the exact same as what people are doing in this situation, its not what he said its who he said it to.

  • Raven21001

    Well atleast sprankle’s declining Patreon returned to former succes, guess that drama payed off at the end.

    • onlyonepinman

      Yeah guess it’s just a fortunate silver lining for her isn’t it? And in no way a deliberate ploy to boost her funds, no sir…

  • onlyonepinman

    There might be corroborating stories but there’s certainly no evidence of anything more than him making some harsh criticism and a couple of spicy tweets. Personally I think the complaints against him are a cynical ploy to both remove someone from the MtG community that a section of the community didn’t like and also to boost Sprankles patreon dollars. The ban is hugely disproportionate to the “crime” and the fact that he can’t even appeal is basically tantamount to Wizards admitting that they know their case is weak and wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny.

  • AWarhammerPlayer

    Gotta love when BolS bans your account for thinking WotC overreacted and that Christine Sprankle is being overly dramatic and exaggerating the “harassment” she received.

    Way2Go BolS what a class act.

  • snotgoblin040

    Thanks for the article. Its simple: If you don’t think this is a Issue. You are part of the problem.

  • m3g4tr0n

    Terrible job at research. The lifetime ban was in no way justified, and just opens the doors to “wrong-think” in an already SJW-converged community.

  • Rasheed Jones

    I realized I was acting in an over emotional state, and did a few things that looking back on it now I shouldn’t have posted. I deleted my other posts in this thread, and I’m not gonna post anymore unless I’m posting about more game related things. I am sorry for what I posted prior, though I do stand by the fact that I don’t agree with this ban, I also realized I don’t agree with what Unsleeved media said. I don’t see it as being anything extraordinarily egregious, but it still goes against what I personally believe. The reason I don’t like this is the precedent it sets, and rules like this always seem to tend toward simply removing unpopular people for things the more popular people got away with at least that has been my experience. Still I got caught up in my emotions and think I was acting stupid, and I’m sorry.

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      Well put. I think this situation deserved nuance, GW could probably learn from this, and plan accordingly.

      There will be no doubt something similar happening in the wargaming community soon.

      • Rasheed Jones

        Personanlly I hope it doesn’t, or at the very least I hope there’s more nuance, in this case specifically I know that there are people who have done things like harassed a judge after telling another player to kill themselves at a competition and they didn’t receive so much as a temporary ban because they’re more popular than some random judge and the player they were playing against. They then went on to brag about it on a podcast. I also know this was brought to wizards attention but they ignored complaints in that case. If the rules were applied consistently, I don’t think I’d have a problem, but they’re clearly biased. There are also other cases I can think of where simply disagreeing with certain opinions is called bullying, I can give one which is I’ve seen people accused of being bullies and bigots because they don’t think there’s a huge problem with sexism or racism in games stores (and I’m not talking about e-celebrities I’m talking about a guy I know personally).

        Basically, I don’t see this system being applied fairly to other people, and I say this as one of the people I think Wizards would be biased in favor of based on my general opinons…except for the fact that I’m trash cause I think Weiss Schwarz is a better card game with better rules than Magic. Its certainly printed on better card stock last I checked.

        • thereturnofsuppuppers

          You say that you feel Wizards is not applying its system fairly.

          Can you give us what you feel would be a fair application of the system?

          So far Jeremy has been banned forever and Travis has been banned for 1 year.

          The context:

          They are both popular youtubers who make their living in some part by creating/stoking drama and are viewed as toxic by at least some part of the larger community.

          Is there other youtubers that you feel fall into that category that should be banned?

          Desolator can get a bit annoying, but he’s never really goes after anyone.

          • Rasheed Jones

            I dont remember the players name because i dont really follow magic too closely, but there is the player i mentioned in my prior reply. As for travis, what i heard is that he was banned for something someone else said in a private facebook group he happened to have created. Mana Leek also encouraged a mass flagging campaign on Unsleeved Media’s…. everything which i think was way over the line. His stated goal was to get the guy sued so he woupdnt have the money to do youtube.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I’ve had a look and can’t find anything on Mana leaks mass flagging? Do you know when it was.

          • Rasheed Jones
          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Cheers.

            I’d say that wouldn’t be ban worthy from wizards system.

            He is a relatively small mtg youtuber (so his audience is lower, less potential brand damage)

            He does make money of MtG content, so thats the same

            His other videos are very calm and collected, so he’s not really an aggressive drama channel.

            I think most importantly its his careful wording that prevents him from being banned.

            He says to specifically flag all videos that break the youtube agreement. This is fair, youtubers are allowed to flag content they feel breaks terms of service. I think some of Jeremy’s most egregious vids do break ToS.

            However I would say Mana leeks should issue some sort of apology or similar because it may encourage false flagging, which is unhelpful, as we know how susceptible people are to hate campaigns like this.

          • Rasheed Jones

            You see, this is where I disagree, his wording is a bit careful, but he also advocates taking direct action to financially ruin someone which IMO is actually egregious compared even to what Jeremy did, and is something I would class as premeditated and targeted harassment. I don’t think we should judge them differently based on audience size either, and his very own video breaks Youtube’s terms of service, and he also encouraged reporting his patreon IIRC. I think its more that people basically just deemed Jeremy the acceptable target and went after him. I mean I have seen Jeremy also say not to contact the people he talks about, I think what Mana Leek did was egrigeous, and I personally can’t agree to a standard that would ban Jeremy and let that go. I mean, he agressively attacks his character, calls for mass flagging, has the intent to financially ruin him, its all wrong. I don’t want see how that can be okay. If people like that are allowed to thrive in the hobby, I may as well just give up on them. It occurs to me that this is how some people may feel about Unsleeved Media, but he actually got banned, this guy didn’t even get a reprimand.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I think your being a bit over the top there. Jeremy would not be financially ruined.

            If his videos break ToS Jeremy would have to take responsibility, as he signed the document when creating a youtube channel, and if he creating vids that youtube deems break that, he has earned money unfairly.

            I don’t think many of his vids break ToS.

            “his very own video breaks Youtube’s terms of service” Could you get me a quote here, I can’t find a bit where he breaks the ToS.

            The audience size matters to wizards. They are the people taking action and so we must consider their viewpoint. They are fully in there rights to remove anyone they perceive damaging to their brand.

            On a very separate note, I would suggest watching a Shaun and Jen vid called Fate of the Frog men. (I don’t think I can post links)

            While it is based on covering the rise of the internet white nationalists, and you might not agree with it, it touches on why people in similar situations to us perceive themselves as victims, or why they are currently disillusioned. I think Jeremy and his large fan base are suffering from this.

            Its a long vid, so while I would recommend watching all of it, about 16:40ish is where the relevant bit starts.

          • Rasheed Jones

            I say he broke the terms of service because he targeted jeremy for harassment, as for the video, dont think ive seen it, ive seen other things from their channel though, ill watch it. Im the type of person wgo prefers long videos anyway.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Oh ok, Ill look into that. In his video, I don’t know if he made any tweets, he does nothing that explicitly goes against the ToS.

          • Rasheed Jones

            He says “I hipe wuzards digs into his past twitter feed and find anything they can to just bury him in legal fees, if youtube wont take away his ability to post then make him fimanvially incapable of doing so.” I beleive the patreon flaggin campaign is something tjat happened,but i actually dont see it here, however the part abput making him finanvially incapable is does imply that.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I think this is the same as with wishes, vs calls to actions for me.

            He’s already said he wants Jeremy off youtube, I think this is just reiterating. He is not saying to do this, he is hoping Wizards does.

            Would you say he is allowed to say this?

            I feel after watching the vid a few times it contradicts your earlier picture of him as someone who organised a mass flagging campaign on Unsleeved Media.

            He didn’t organise anything particular, but he did say to flag Jeremy’s ToS breaking vids. (which he is in his right to) in one video. Could we call this a campaign?

            ‘His stated goal was to get the guy sued so he wouldn’t have the money to do youtube.’

            This is also incorrect.

            He says he wants this yes. But it is not his goal, he is not calling anything one to do this, or pursuing any charges himself.

            Was the video tactless? Yes. Should he apologise for any false flagging that he could have prevented, probably. The guy has not made such an angry video before, I can forgive some things said in anger.

            It is in no way comparable to sustained and very profitable Campaign (we’ll use that word, as you have before) of Jeremy’s that has seen him banned by Wizards

          • Rasheed Jones

            I do still think that what he did is a flagging campaign, I know he did say to search for things against the TOS, but if you look at youtubes TOS it is actually incredibly vague, and even so he is telling people to dig through his videos and flag him. I don’t know where I said Jeremy had a campaign or it was profitable, and to be frank I don’t actually think what Jeremy has said to people is more egregious than things others have said about him, whether c|_|ck or sh!thead is a more offensive term is subjective, but I can see your side. I do still feel what Mana Leek did was over the line. He told his followers to actually act against someone else. It seems we disagree on that point. Furthermore I also feel that the same leniency people have toward him wouldn’t be extended toward someone labeled as the right kind of target. I think we may have to agree to disagree on this one.

          • Rasheed Jones

            I watched it, and there are parts i can agree with, parts i dont agree with, but i actually dont see the relevance to myself, as i dont fit the critera of the people he’s talking about at all, as a left leaning black man, the only similarity is that im a gamer, well i really want to be a developer. But i dont see that happening, all ive done is write some scripts for games my clients never finished. Also this is off topic but do peiple rreally consider 30 minutes long videso. The average video i watch on youtube is around that long or longer.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers
          • Rasheed Jones

            As for ruining him financially that was his stated goal in the video.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I think there are two separate elements in his vid.

            There is his call to action: flag Jeremy’s vids that break ToS, don’t comment on his vids.

            And his wishes. Jeremy needs to be stopped, have vids removed etc.

            I feel this bit of his vid is a bit strong, and does not help his case.

            I would however say that his calls to action are different enough that he does not desersve a ban.

            I would agree with you, if he both said I want all his vids removed, and then told his audience to flag ALL vids. He does not do this.

            I would agree with you if he wants Jeremy to be stopped, and called for personal hate attacks. He does not do this.

            I think he should have stated, like tolarian, not to send harassment, I do think it does help a bit.

            But I think his goal is pretty tame, as he states is to ‘stop his ability to spread hate before we lose more prominent positive community, members’.

            His way of doing this is removing Jeremy’s ToS breaking vids. I don’t believe he will succeed.

          • Rasheed Jones

            Its not that part that bothers me, its the flagging his patreon and trying to get him sued somehow (he doesnt present any logical way yo do this, but he does state that as gis end goal.)

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Maybe Im missing that bit, I’ve watched the vid a couple times now, and I can’t find a mention of his patreon or suing him.

  • Black Heaven

    So they banned the accused for h*r*ssing the cosplayer…

    Does that mean everybody else who advocated organized h*r*ssment against Jeremy would also get banned? Or is it just a one sided street? It’s okay if it’s him because he’s a well known bad guy in the community…

    Like, I don’t really care that he gets banned and I’m not here to defend him. (TBH, I’m just here to eat popcorn and watch everything unfold)

    The Internet had stated he does have a track record of being an “ill-mannered individual”, to put it lightly. But if he is to be b*nned it has to be on provable and even grounds. If he gets b*nned over an alleged h*r*ssment that has yet to be proven then everyone else including The Professor guy could be banned as well on the same grounds as inciting h*r*ssment.

    If the community wants this guy Jeremy out, it has to be on grounds that he actually committed and can be proven. In another game Overwatch, lots of streamers are getting b*nned for unsportsmanlike conduct during a game. So those who want him out could try and find similar dirt on him. It’s a tough job, but hey, nobody said ruining somebody’s life is easy.

  • frank

    I don’t care for the guy and I kinda saw this coming when he doubled down on things after their were some negative articles about him a few weeks ago. I don’t do twitter and haven’t watched all his videos but didn’t seem like he was harassing anyone though he did mention people by name. That said I think this kinda thing is getting way too weird I think its kinda the age were in now i guess and people tend to get way too passionate-upset about what people say on the Internet… on both sides I think people are going crazy on stuff like this and I think I’m out of touch with peoples definitions of harassment.
    PS Arch has got to be sweating a lil right now.

  • Elijah Herstal

    So, the guy got banned for a pepe meme.

    And some girl claims he harassed her and there’s no evidence for that, he just said she had a scummy business.

    Didn’t know WotC was in the business of banning people because they didn’t like their behavior outside their events.

    • frank

      think at this point everyone using pepe memes knows whats up. their not a neutral thing its like how racists ruined don’t tread on me. love that flag but doesn’t mean what it had.

    • Rob brown

      They way it comes across from various commentators is that Jeremy upset so many people in the community by some pretty nasty stuff – they he probably thought was witty and clever but those on the recieiving end thought was pretty cruel. There are only so many people you can upset at a party before someone turns round and throws you out.

      I run a private health club where people pay to be members (not so different in principal) and if someone did a fraction of the things Jeremey did they’d be be asked to leave and never come back.

      Warning is served if you want to be part of a community, be mindful of your relationships with that community.

  • marlowc

    Ouch. This whole business takes sad to a completely new level doesn’t it. I think there’s a few people need to get out more, maybe see some real problems.

  • Ryan Miller

    I think Wizards needs to stop harassing thier player/customers.

  • Drew

    I think we’re in agreement here, so I’ll sign off by saying it’s been a pleasure having a civil discussion in a comments section for a change. Cheers, sir! =)

  • bblackmoor

    Wow, good for WOTC. It’s long past due that the bullies got kicked to the curb. The vast majority of us who aren’t obnoxious wingnuts are grateful.