game developers

22 petitions

Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to Rare (Video Game Developer)

Combat Toxic Gameplay in Rare's Sea of Thieves

Toxic gaming behavior (anything from slurs to abuse of game mechanics to bully others) is a rampant problem in the gaming community. Rare's newly released "Sea of Thieves" is no exception. Naturally in a game based on piracy “fairness” is a difficult term to define, but there is definitely a line where a player or crew goes too far. All in one day of playing Sea of Thieves, I played with a pre-school aged child who was happy that my crew wasn't putting him in the brig (as he told us many people had done previously) and was threatened with real life rape and similar forms of sexual harassment. Thankfully, these scenarios did not coincide, but I could not help but wonder at how much worse it would be if they had.  Currently, anyone that falls under the definition of being female, a racial minority, LGBTQ, and a child faces severe bullying and toxicity on a regular basis. While the easy way out of this is to only play with people you already trust, that undermines the essence of creating an online community. A multiplayer online game does not simply exist to progress through the game, but also to establish a community. Therefore, Rare needs to be held accountable for moderating the behavior of its participants.  Below is a list of demands that will improve players' interaction with the Sea of Thieves community, thereby attracting and maintaining a community that will cause Rare to profit. We demand a nuanced reporting system that results in penalties for players that abuse chat and other functions of the game to aggressively impact other players’ experiences. Currently, the only system available to report players exists outside of the game, making it complicated and time consuming to both address what is happening in the game while trying to prevent future abuses to yourself and others. This only increases the likelihood of toxicity with no way to aptly confront it. Bigotry and threats of harassment need to be as seriously confronted in the gaming atmosphere as in real life.  We demand that the “brig” system be fine tuned to include a timed system, as well as release from the brig upon death. While it is a useful system for sobering uncooperative players and can even enhance game experience among friends who know each other’s boundaries, unacceptable abuses of this system are rampant. For instance, keeping the only random player consistently brigged, putting children in the brig simply because of their age, putting less experienced players in the brig, repeatedly and sadistically killing a brigged player. These behaviors discourage players from continuing to put time into playing, as well as prevent others from purchasing Sea of Thieves in the future. Therefore, negatively impacting the current franchise and its future prosperity.  In conclusion, we are not asking Rare for that which is impossible or even unheard of. Riot and Blizzard are both companies that have been open and transparent about working to curb toxicity and have benefited from the process. While Sea of Thieves is not a game medium that can establish the same standing in eSports, it is one that has the potential to maintain a dedicated community. That community will neither thrive nor grow when players and potential players feel as if it is a crapshoot as to whether or not they will enjoy their time or even be harassed. Therefore, if not for simply for common human decency we put forth these demands for Rare's own good and for the good of the Sea of Thieves community. 

Jennifer DeValue
16 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to Hasbro, Wizards of the Coast

Fix Wizards of the Coast's treatment of content creating fans

Wizards of the Coast produces some of the best known tabletop games in existence, including the end-all-be-all of nerdiness, Dungeons and Dragons. These games, by their very nature, encourage the fans and player base to create their own content for them, down the the Wizards of the Coast run Dungeon Masters' Guild, a website on which individuals can publish and share their Dungeons and Dragons 5e content. However, behind the seeming benevolence are policies that short these content creators. If you publish character options, stories, or anything else that is D&D related on the DM's Guild, for example, you lose the ability to publish that same content anywhere else - ever - AND anything that anyone else creates that is inspired by that work is also immediately owned by WotC as well. While that might be understandable in spite of how frustrating it is, this just recently came to my attention. While that article is a bit of a monster to read, the important line is this: "Your Fan Content must be free for others (including Wizards) to view, access, share, and use without paying you anything, obtaining your approval, or giving you credit." On the one hand, that initially seems like it might be good. Better art and rules for everyone, right? Except that it screws over the people who create that content. People who depend on the profit that stems from their creation, or who are seeking to increase their name recognition in the industry, essentially have all of the value of their work stolen from them by this single sentence. What this means, assuming that I understand it correctly, is that anyone who has ever published content on the DM's Guild not only can not publish their work where they want, but WotC can publish it whenever and wherever they want, without giving credit - thereby denying us even the ability to have credibility and viability within the industry. Things look even worse for artists. Commissions of D&D characters are basically illegal, or are at best an immense pain to handle without fees and issues. Anything that uses Wizard's intellectual property is equally inaccessible. For some, this undermines their entire creative platform; for others, it renders fan favorite content such as Matthew Mercer's Blood Hunter a tantalizing but off limits treat. All this might still make sense, given that Wizards of the Coast owns the game, except that it violates copyright law. Under copyright law, individuals have the right to create derivative works - things such as fan art and house rules - and have ownership of those works. Not only is WotC outright ignoring this, they make it incredibly oppressive for an individual to call them on it. Quoting the article linked above, "Please don’t pull us into any legal battles! Our lawyers are busy enough. If Wizards of the Coast, our partners, affiliates, or employees get hit with any legal claims, fees, or expenses related to your Fan Content, you’re responsible for paying all of our costs (including attorney’s fees) and any resulting judgment or settlement." That's right, if you call them on this, they make you pay them for it. The long and the short of it is that this needs to stop. People are getting their hard work taken from them, and none of us is individually powerful enough to force a solution for the problem. However, if there's one thing Dungeons and Dragons has taught me, it's that even the smallest heroes can slay dragons when they have time and allies. We can overcome this. Join with me, and let's go slay a dragon.

Huntsman LeBaron
35 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to Bethesda Game Studios

Save the Dark Brotherhood- or Arnbjorn at Least (Skyrim) (All Platforms)

In Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls VI, your family comes in the form of a band of assassins calling themselves the Dark Brotherhood. Unfortunately, your loving times together come to a sudden halt when the leader, Astrid, betrays her husband and her “siblings”, leading to the untimely death of all but three- the Listener (the Player), Nazir the suave Redguard, and the charming vampire child Babette. If a patch was released that allowed the player to save at least one character (Arnbjorn, whose attackers can be killed, but dies due to his death being scripted in the code), it would provide not only emotional relief for the players, but a sort of irony in that the assassin behind the death of so many would fight to save lives. Furthermore, it would just make sense. Arnbjorn may have been injured, but he’s also an extremely powerful werewolf. With the player, the almighty Dragonborn, at his side, it would be no stretch for him to live (and perhaps see his wife one last time before she dies). Veezara, the Argonian assassin, is capable of fighting off an entire wedding party in the plot to kill Vittoria Vici. These assassins are not to be trifled with, and they are family. Family is nothing without one another, and we should fight to save them. We chose to join them, not destroy them, and we  made them our home. Let us fight for their lives and protect them from Astrid’s betrayal. I don’t honestly expect this to even reach the devs’ eyes, let alone cause an actual update- I understand, after all, that such an update would require a lot of work. But should you come across it, I humbly request this detail be added to the game- that the Dark Brotherhood live on. At the very least, let us save Arnbjorn, if only to preserve his endearingly insulting nicknames. I would, however, like to stress that the goal of this petition is to save ALL the members (excluding Astrid, who has to die for the questline to work).

Kitty C.
21 supporters