Fallout 76 Bans Homophobic Players After Slur-Filled Harassment
'Fallout 76' Bans Homophobic Players After Slur-Filled Harassment
"We have come to eliminate the gays."
A group of players has been permanently banned from Fallout 76 after extensive in-game homophobic harassment.
Twitter user @twitch_ajpls posted a set of videos of the incident directed at Bethesda, the company that makes the Fallout games. They show the group saying things such as “we have come to eliminate all gays,” and “decontaminate the AIDS.”
\u201cSo @bethesda, how do we report people in @Fallout? @ChipWhitehouse @Handsandhead and I literally had our characters hunted down and killed by homophobic players. I'll post more of the video in a thread. Strong language warning.\u201d— AJpls (@AJpls) 1542343581
AJ told Eurogamer that the harassment started when the apparent ringleader of the group, a high schooler that went by the username NathanTheHicc, asked AJ and his friends for help with an in-game item.
"The three of us were having a good time and talking to him and then one of us commented on his character or his characters outfit being cute. He replied, 'I don't fuck with that homo shit' and left.”
\u201cCalled themselves the "gay eliminators" "cleansing the wasteland of the queers" "know what we did to your people back then, we killed them" THIS is the stuff said to us tonight when playing Fallout. @bethesda @BethesdaStudios @Fallout #Fallout #Fallout76\u201d— AJpls (@AJpls) 1542343581
NathanTheHicc agrees with the account of the incident, but told Eurogamer that he has no interest in apologizing. “I don’t hate gay people,” he claims. “It was just a late night of having fun and after the first encounter (seen on my channel) we felt it would be fun to offend them somehow. You can call that evil but I think it’s just playful immaturity.”
And because nothing says “I don’t hate gay people” like uploading a video to your YouTube channel titled “Cleansing the queers,” NathanTheHicc did just that. His channel has since been shut down, though re-uploads of the same title can be found on YouTube from other people.
It’s not uncommon for groups in multiplayer games to go around killing lower level characters for “fun,” but the targeted slurs pushed this incident into a realm that required intervention.
"We gave an initial ban of three days while our CS team looked into the matter further to verify the individuals involved and what took place," a Bethesda spokesperson said. "After additional review, we have now permanently banned the players we've identified."
The gaming community still has a long way to go to stop harassment in and around games, but hopefully more companies will take such a firm stance against this kind of behavior.