Cloud Imperium tries to resolve the mess.
On Cloud Imperium’s forums, a female user from Adelaide, Australia, who went by the online handle of Lauresh, created a thread where she spoke of her idea of creating a community within the game exclusively for women. She was banned from the forums for stating her view and her idea of what she planned on doing in the game, and this caused a huge outcry and controversy.
Well, Cloud Imperium have moved fast, and they have attempted to resolve this controversy as fast as possible, revoking the ban on Lauresh, restoring the thread to the board, and suspending the moderator who issued the ban pending further review.
“Let me begin by stating what I’m surprised isn’t obvious: Cloud Imperium Games is not in the business of preventing women from playing our game,” CIG’s Ben Lesnick wrote in a post on the forums.
“Part of the Star Citizen dream is to build a game that crosses traditional gamer boundaries and includes an experience that everyone can enjoy. Certainly, we are not sitting around in smoky boardrooms dreaming of ways to exclude 50 per cent of the planet in our space adventure.”
However, he went on to explain how the situation was not as cut and dry and simple as it seemed, that there was more going on here than simple sexism (from either side).
“As always, this is extremely tedious,” he continued. “The user in question is also part of the Something Awful group, which made the moderator dealing with the issue believe the entire thread was a setup. This would not be the first time SA Goons have created an issue.
“However, on review and in spite of the sheer volume of concerned Goons coming out of the woodwork on this, I do not believe the thread was necessarily a setup and that several mistakes were made in terms of moderation.”
“Women online, and especially women in gaming, have it very, very tough in ways that men absolutely do not understand. This isn’t an argument for the community to have, it’s a fact. Our moderators (and game designers and programmers and everyone else involved in Star Citizen) should do everything possible to create a safe environment, not encourage typical internet knife-fighting in this regard.”
“And as if it even needed to be said, there is more than enough room for a female-only group in the ‘verse. Making connections like that is what our Organizations system is for, and there’s absolutely no additional room to argue with that,” he finally concluded.
It appears that Lauresh is still unhappy over the entire situation, however. Last night, she responded to the situation: “I feel that the community manager is neglecting the community by not being involved in the issues beyond the absolute bare minimum and there has been no word on whether the moderation policies and procedures are going to be changed since they seem quite heavy handed and it’s quite obvious their record keeping is shoddy at best.”
Yeesh. It’s a mess all right, and it’s clear that the moderation team at Cloud Imperium could have handed the situation much better.