Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Nightbot, gamers and gendered slurs.

Note: this has been sitting around for a while and apparently never got published >.< since It's there I might as well share it with everyone. <3

So I am a gamer and am involved in many different communities around gaming. One of these is online where we all play in the beta of an indie game (SpyParty), stream together, chat with each other and even are doing a table top RPG via stream and teamspeak. We use a service called NightBot so we can have music in our stream and also because the ability to add custom commands is funny and handy. 

For example in one of the streams I moderate if you type in "!entertained" NightBot responds with "The stream is entertained! (for the xth time)" We use it as a source for explaining games, inside jokes and general hilarity depending on the stream. We also really heavily rely on the music abilities to create interesting playlists that are viewer created. 

That being said recently we tried to create a joke command that was "... YET." Innocuous right? 

Apparently not. 

When I went to use the command this is what I got in reply from nightbot: (Buananoche is my name on twitch)

Buananoche-> Do you REALLY think I'm going to allow YOU to execute commands on MY behalf? Fuck YOU bitch!
Woah. Really NightBot? What is going on?

Because I had no idea why I got this response from my command I tweeted the guys at nightbot. Like you do.

So I asked why me using ellipses led to that response and this is what the conversation looked like:
if a chat line starts with a period it is interpreted by the server as a chat command 
   and so it calls the person a bitch? That seems extreme
Because people normally try to do abusive things like make it change its /color or /ban folks 
 @buananoche:  it's just rather rude and was an unwelcome surprise in my chat, I'm not a fan of being called a gendered slur. Multiple streams I mod use nightbot and it really turns all of us off of the service. Especially for me, being a female gamer I get called that a lot-It's not welcome where I mod and in our community. Do you have any reason for that response (this was 3 tweets)
Big surprise... that's where our conversation ended. My (male) buddy also tweeted them, he was less annoyed than I am. I don't exactly what he said but he did tell me their response:
"Gamers in general aren't offended by such a statement, or at least I nor friends.  The statement fits along with its timeout msgs."
 Good to know that according to the people at NightBot I am not a gamer in general. And that they think that calling a random person a bitch fits with their other messages. I've used nightbot in various capacities for quite a while now and this is the first time I have EVER seen something like this. Snark? fine. Gendered slurs? Color me surprised.

Am I surprised by TheNightBot's response? Nope. I wish I was though. This kind of thing is so common for me in gaming communities that I just can't bring myself to be surprised when it does. That's why I love the SpyParty community - when I comment about something not being okay what happens? They apologize and actually try to fix it. I have been in the SpyParty community for over a year now, over and over things that are endemic in our society, and especially in gaming society, that I don't stand for the other gamers and the developer himself have made sure to change their unacceptable behavior. Ranging from fat jokes to gendered slurs and more they have taken what I said, maybe questioned the 'why isn't it okay' type things, but they changed the behavior. Even when they admitted to not understanding why it wasn't okay.

Oh, well. Nightbot just responded to me:
Your interpretation of the response is of your own accord. The response serves to defend the bot when people try to undermine it.
Oh thanks NightBot twitter person. I really appreciate being told that

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