People are often shocked that we, and the community we play with, actively report teabagging as abusive chat in multiplayer games like Overwatch. Unfortunately, the gaming community has long been a sanctuary for toxicity, feeding a range of toxic movements like gamergate and even the alt-right. I wanted to make a post to our game community about why we report the toxic players that teabag, and why we think you should do the same. When we are asked why, these are some of the things we say:
- Teabagging is rape culture, alive and well in the gaming community.
- Teabagging is a sexual act being represented in a game that has children playing.
- Teabagging is a hostile, sexual act predicated on the notion that you are so much stronger than the other player that they can’t stop you from forcing yourself on them.
- Teabagging is a sexual act that is paired with a violent, often murderous act.
- Teabagging uses the in-game tools, typically crouching, to harass the player that is playing the killed character, with sexual violence. The player may be communicating through Kill Cams instead of voice chat, but it’s still communication.
Our community is a thriving and diverse group, and we have a deep respect for not just the members, but also the challenges that our members face in the world. Many of our community members are survivors of sexual assault and we will do everything we can to make the greater gaming community a more friendly, compassionate, and welcoming place.
Relax, it’s just a game/joke!
“No one deserves that kind of toxic environment. I don’t. You don’t. No one does.”
Sure, the game you’re playing is just a game. But the community playing with you? They’re not a game. They’re not NPCs. They’re a diverse community of people, some of whom are survivors of sexual assault and some of whom are children. Some of whom, *gasp* ARE BOTH. It’s bad enough that people think this kind of behavior is ok in general, but to make someone’s area of play into that kind of predatory and hostile place? Who does that? What kind of person does that?
But it’s not just about those people. It’s about all people. No one deserves that kind of toxic environment. I don’t. You don’t. No one does. So, let’s stop it. Immediately.
It’s just locker room talk! Sportsmanship!
Yea, we don’t buy that either. Here’s an exhaustive list of professional athletes that actively teabag the opposing team:
So, what can I do?
Well, for one, you can start reporting teabagging as abusive chat! It’s not hard and most games have tools to do it anonymously. If you’re a person that teabags and you maybe didn’t realize how that was hurting your community, you can stop doing it. You can also start calling out your friends that do it too. Tell them that it’s not ok and tell them why. It’s a teaching moment! Make your community a better place for people. Trust us. You’ll have more fun, because you’ll be surrounded by less toxic people.