Kotaku receives death threats for reporting No Man's Sky delay

Dalek

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http://kotaku.com/i-got-death-threats-for-reporting-on-a-video-game-delay-1779617741

Last Wednesday, I reported that No Man’s Sky had been delayed. For two days, up until the game’s developers confirmed the news, I received a stream of nasty messages, angry tweets, and, as has become a standard part of gaming culture, threats against me and my family.

Apparently I’m not the only one. No Man’s Sky director Sean Murray tweeted on Saturday that he’d also received death threats for the crime of delaying his game a few weeks. Fans of the game—really, fans of the game’s marketing—have been loud, passionate, and angry.

This probably comes as no surprise to anyone who spends time on the internet, especially in the video game world, where every week there’s something new to get mad about. Over the past few years, death threats ranging from silly to scary have been sent to all sorts of gaming targets: Call of Duty’s developers, for nerfing a weapon; Anita Sarkeesian, for critiquing video games; Gabe Newell, for running Steam. Anyone who is outspoken about politics or who criticizes the Gamergate movement is regularly subject to this sort of behavior. On the internet, where words feel weightless and ephemeral, death threats are par for the course.

Still, it was unsettling to wake up Friday morning to a series of messages from someone who said he was going to kill me and my family for reporting on a video game delay:



Don’t worry: I’m fine. I’ve never felt like this dude was actually going to come after me, and working at Kotaku forces you to develop a pretty thick skin. When you write about video games, you get used to trolls and threats. This can’t even compare to some of the harassment faced by outspoken women like Sarkeesian, especially on Twitter. The social network is crucial to the careers of critics and reporters who use it to spread word of their work, develop sources, and communicate with readers, but it is pathetic at dealing with harassers. I reported @BeachClasherMDR for these threats four days ago; as of Tuesday morning, Twitter has yet to do a thing.

One line in that message is particularly revealing: “It’s the only thing I live for.” Whether or not he was exaggerating, that’s the type of obsession that fuels so much of the nastiness in gaming culture. There are plenty of great gaming communities and, in my experience, most gamers are perfectly pleasant, but too many are unable to separate themselves from their products. Video game fans who are zealously attached to their favorite games—even, as in this case, a game that has yet to come out!—are prone to get aggressive when they feel like they’re being attacked. Or when they get bad news.

As soon as I broke news of the game’s delay on Wednesday night, I watched the No Man’s Sky subreddit explode, filling up with messages about how it couldn’t be true, how Kotaku must be trying to troll them, how we’re always wrong. The subreddit’s overworked moderators were quick to clean up many of these threads, but for the next two days it was bedlam. People tried to dig up reasons the delay couldn’t have been real—“Kotaku’s sources are anonymous, so it can’t be true”-and even came up with elaborate schemes to harass GameStop employees across the country.

One redditor, Gilchrist78, declared that he’d called 30 GameStops and confirmed with them all that the news was false. “NMS is NOT delayed,” he wrote. When I commented that I was confident there was indeed a delay and that people really shouldn’t get their hopes up, he doubled down. “So you have 1 source in Gamestop,” he wrote. “I have 30.”
Delay me if old.
 

backbreaker65

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May 18, 2006
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Who cares people troll on the internet all the time, this dude jason just had to write about this dumb shit. Know when you're being trolled.
 

DeathSparks

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I think this is old, this happened right after Sony announced the game was delayed to August.

Still I feel sorry for the guy, he didn't deserve this
 

Hoje0308

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Jun 22, 2013
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That guy's account is still active too. Twitter is shit tier.

Who cares people troll on the internet all the time, this dude jason just had to write about this dumb shit. Know when you're being trolled.
Wow, really? The fact that it happens all the time means we should just let it go, right? Garbage post.
 

Ultima_5

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Jun 3, 2009
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This industry is fucking Embarassing.

This game will probably be the next spore and be quickly forgotten and people are threatening death over it. Jesus Chris
 

Broken Joystick

At least you can talk. Who are you?
Apr 30, 2013
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*waits a couple years for ambitious game*
"Hey developer, can't wait for your game!
*gets delayed a few months*
"Hey developer I'm gonna kill you"
 

Stevey

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Looks like bullshit internet trolling.
But then again if it was happening to me, probably wouldn't be so nonchalant about it.
 

Kouriozan

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Mar 22, 2012
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Gaming is serious business.
I can't read that and think he's serious, especially about "Be afraid human", otherwise, wow.

EDIT : I missed the very first tweet, he's really crazy.
 

TheBeebs

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Sep 16, 2015
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As someone who has been writing professionally for several years, this is really dumb. Why would some random idiot blame a writer for doing their job.

Sean Murray also received death threats when the No Man's Sky delay became official. Nothing says "Hurry up and finish the game" like the promise of a good murdering!
 

Firestorm

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One redditor, Gilchrist78, declared that he’d called 30 GameStops and confirmed with them all that the news was false. “NMS is NOT delayed,” he wrote. When I commented that I was confident there was indeed a delay and that people really shouldn’t get their hopes up, he doubled down. “So you have 1 source in Gamestop,” he wrote. “I have 30.”
I know you bolded this to call attention to it but it's so good I had to quote it again.
But these are just 12 year olds. Does anyone really take these threats seriously?
The minds of 12 year olds but not actually 12 years old.
 

jooey

The Motorcycle That Wouldn't Slow Down
Jun 10, 2004
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This industry is fucking Embarassing.

This game will probably be the next spore and be quickly forgotten and people are threatening death over it. Jesus Chris
nothing about these children constitutes an industry.
 

LelouchZero

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Feb 25, 2016
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That's terrible. What's wrong with these people? Death threats over the delay of a game? I can't even...
 

ActStriker

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Nov 14, 2011
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I think this is old, this happened right after Sony announced the game was delayed to August.

Still I feel sorry for the guy, he didn't deserve this
JSchreier reported the rumor of the delay last Wednesday, after which he started getting shit for it.

The official confirmation wasn't until after that.
 

Tagyhag

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*waits a couple years for ambitious game*
"Hey developer, can't wait for your game!
*gets delayed a few months*
"Hey developer I'm gonna kill you"
It's more like

*waits a couple years for ambitious game*
"Hey developer, can't wait for your game!"
*gets delayed a few months*
*Unrelated person reports it*
"Hey messenger, I'm gonna kill you"

99.9% of these threats aren't serious but they should all be taken like they are.

Even if they're like "lol jk!".
 

metalslimer

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Jun 9, 2012
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Ah yes the classic just ignore it it's the internet excuse when people are harassed and given death threats.
 
Sep 15, 2011
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The world is full with crazy people.
Or just a handful. Majority of the people are likely very reasonable, but it only takes a handful to go insane to make people think many are going insane.

Still if this happened to me I would be fairly incensed, and the man babies and children that do this need to grow up.