Community Action

The gaming community has been occasionally motivated to action by objectionable conduct either from within or from outside of the community. Such action may manifest itself by a series of articles on the topic, the creation of a website dedicated to exposing the inappropriate conduct, or the development of full-scale campaigns to wage war against the problem. These efforts have met with varied success. Some campaigns, like the struggle with Microsoft to support Open GL, may lose because of corporate indifference to the opinions of a small segment of the population. Others, such as the Green Ribbon Campaign, may be so wide in scope that it will be impossible to gauge if they have been successful. Regardless, the importance of these efforts lies in the very struggle itself: action taken to accomplish a common goal helps to strengthen and unify the community.


The first community-action project by the Quake community happened very early in its development. Actura Software, a distributor and publisher, released a collection of levels for Quake in a cdrom entitled "Eternal Darkness." It wasn't long until members of the community began to realize that many of the levels contained in the cdrom had actually been created by member of the community. It became clear that someone had downloaded a significant number of the Quake levels available on CD-ROM.Com, removed the readme files that contained the copyright information, and then sold the levels on a CD-ROM.

NiCkMaN began a grassroots campaign to make potential purchasers aware of the controversy surrounding.

His now famous button and website, Screw Actura, began appearing on hundreds of Quake-related websites. It is difficult to say whether NiCkMaN's actions had their intended effect, but it is clear that it brought attention to the issue and may have encouraged many not to purchase Actura's product.

The Green Ribbon Campaign, the most recent campaign to arise from the Quake community, is an effort to heighten awareness of the responsible exercise of free speech. The Quake community, like every community, has its dark side. The anonymity of the internet has allowed many people to barrage high-profile players and webmasters with an endless stream of hate mail. The most egregious examples demonstrate sexism (often with strong pornographic overtones), racial prejudice, and an inability to compose a sentence without using profanity.

A turning point may have occurred when Hellkitten felt forced to remove her homepage from the www after receiving a large amount of disgusting and frightening mail. She became a target after Dhab released this portrait of her as a promotion for Quake 2.

Many expressed outrage at the abuse that Hellkitten, as well as many female Quakers, had received.

KingPing created the Green Ribbon Campaign to make players aware of the problem and to help reduce the abuses that have been present in the community since its inception. It will be very difficult to gauge if this campaign has any success, but it is encouraging that many of the major Quake sites have already supported it. Perhaps this effort will help to facilitate change.

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Last update: December 05, 1997
This page is maintained by Darren L. Tabor,
aka DaKoTa