Home Board Game News Tabletop Simulator Considers Being Trans/Gay Not “Family Friendly”

Tabletop Simulator Considers Being Trans/Gay Not “Family Friendly”

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In a Twitter post last night, user @XoeAllred revealed issues she had recently with the global chat system on the popular virtual gaming platform Tabletop Simulator from Berserk Games. XoeAllred (AKA Katie via her bio, an openly trans pan mom) was banned from the global chat on Tabletop Simulator for talking about being gay. My first thought was: “people actually use the global chat on Tabletop Simulator?” Once I got over that shock, it was replaced with surprise that mentioning that you are gay would result in any kind of ban. At first, I assumed it was a set of automod filters to weed out trolls. But not so.

Tabletop Simulator ChatAfter reviewing a set of screenshots from her chat history she posted into a google doc, it seems this is the policy per Berserk Games. The moderator told Katie that the discussion of “sexuality, fetishes, or politics” has no place in the global chat. The fact that a person’s sexuality is being lumped in with fetishes and politics as unfriendly topics seems pretty absurd. But you’d assume that the policy was equally applied to all identities. Katie tested this by talking about being CIS/Straight. As you might imagine, no ban resulted. After bringing that fact up with Berserk Games via their discord, the moderator temporarily added bans to those terms to stop trolls or disruptive behavior. But it doesn’t appear that talking about being straight is actually against their policies.

So far there has been no response from Berserk Games, despite many on social media asking for one. In addition, publishers and designers have said they are pulling their mods from Tabletop Simulator until these policies are corrected. For those wishing to read the entire exchange, you can view her google doc here.

Tabletop Simulator has long been one of the popular ways to play board games online, via official and definitely unofficial mods. For those wishing to avoid Tabletop Simulator now, you can check out Tabletop Playground on Steam, Tabletopia, Board Game Arena and Screetop.gg as one of the many alternatives.

Edit 1/10/22: Berserk Games has posted an official response on Reddit:

“Hello Tabletop Simulator community, we once again want to stress our commitment to inclusivity in everything we do and would like to apologize for the handling of a user being ban from global chat. Initially, we were misinformed about the sequence of events as well as the full context of the situation that led to this user’s ban. The subsequent messaging around why this ban took place does not reflect the beliefs or sentiments of Tabletop Simulator. Tabletop Simulator has not and does not condone equating sexual orientation/ gender identity with fetishes, politics, or anti-family friendly sentiment.

At this time we have decided to take down global chat as we reassess our moderation process as clearly, we have some shortcomings. The purpose of the moderation team was to keep global communication on the topic of board games and to reduce toxicity and hate. Tabletop Simulator recognizes that the current moderation process of our global chat has failed to uphold its original intention and we apologize for this as well as anyone who was hurt or made to feel unwelcome the past few days as this was never our intention.

Tabletop Simulator community, we hear you and the entire Tabletop Simulator team is prioritizing our commitment to making the TTS community inclusive and safe for everyone. Community feedback and communication is a key aspect in learning and improving. We hope over time to once again regain your trust and respect.”

The original moderator CHRY also posted a response on the Berserk Games Discord Channel. 

While he will play just about anything, Tony loves games that let him completely immerse himself in the theme. He also is a bit of a component addict.

31 COMMENTS

    • In the google doc they test the exact same thing out by making a bunch of comments about being straight. There’s no auto-kick there; the bot only scans for ‘gay’ or ‘trans.’

      The few anecdotal cases where people HAVE been kicked for “broadcasting straightness” were also temporary, not permanent like in the poster’s case.

      Even if you’re taking the most ignorant stance possible, it should be blatantly obvious that it’s a double standard.

      • In that case, Berserk can go ahead and ban the word “straight”. I’m absolutely sure that no one would care.

        • You might not, but you’d better bet the conservative lynch mob would be screeching seven hells and sending death threats to Berserk.

      • When twitter bans a conservative it is their right as a private company. When they do it its a crime apparently.

        • It is not illegal for Berserk to ban whoever they want and literally nobody is saying it should be illegal. However they are a company selling a service and many of their customers are expressing their displeasure with the company’s conduct.

          It’s a very clear difference, if you bother thinking for even half a second.

  1. Unacceptable behavior. I’m so pissed that the platform I’ve put so many thousands of hours into my game designs on during the past couple years could do such a thing. They are dead to me.

    • Wow so people cant make control their own private company. Bet you dont care when a conservative gets banned for expressing an opinion people literally held for 100 plus years

      • What opinion are you so desperate to say? Tell us your 100 plus year old wisdom. What is it you so angrily want to imply but are too scared to say out loud? Don’t be a coward. You can say it, this is a safe space.

  2. It’s the ugly no-so-secret side of bigotry and Conservatism in America in general that no one seems to think about until they find themselves on the ugly end of it. It’s just an extension of the hatred in this country that’s been normalized since forever. This is by no means rare, it’s Americana as apple pie, sadly.

    • Go on twitter and count the liberals who praise dead conservatives and deride and insult anyone who doesnt conform to their mob rule. You think outside the box you get punished. Look at sarah silverman and Bill Mahr. Its a cult

      • Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;
        and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
        -Matthew 7:5

        Take a good long hard at yourself and the people around you.

  3. Wow! You mean you’ll allow me to exist as long as I don’t express myself in any way and you can pretend I don’t exist?

    Gee, thanks! I feel so included now.

  4. Wow! You mean you’ll allow me to exist as long as I don’t express myself in any way and you can pretend I don’t exist?

    Gee, thanks! I feel so included now.

  5. Ok, the entire article is trash because the troublemaker posted screenshots of every bit of of their troll-posting, and their conversations with ill-equipped mods, but NONE of the screenshots of their original bans.

    Second, why the hell is boardgamequest giving this any airtime and sending it to my email box? Do i have some sort of “tell me about stupid twitter drama” or “tell me about every sad TTS user?” checkbox enabled?

    Unsubscribed.

    • Thanks for your feedback steve. I’ll be sure to run all of our news articles past you in the future before posting them.

      • Virtue signalling. You probably attack board game designers who use too many “white people” in their designs too.

        • I love it when people use “virtue signaling” like it’s an insult. Yes, I stand for equality and against hate and bigotry and I’m going to signal the fuck out of that and work my ass off to make it happen. That’s a good thing, and if you think it isn’t, then the problem is you.

    • Do we have some sort of “be sure soggy-bottom-steve gives his sad opinion in dramatic fashion” checkbox enabled?

      (Glad to see the garbage is starting to take itself out! It’s the future, folks!)

    • Gay people existing: Trolling and troublemaking
      Giving a games website crap for posting about the largest online games platform treating customers poorly: Not trolling, and a very important use of time.

      And how are you enjoying your visit from the Mirror Universe, sir?

  6. Thank you for the article BGQ. It is always interesting how concerned people are that their opinion is shared. It sounds like TTS is trying to remedy the situation so that all members are allowed to participate. It is TTS that gets to review their practices. No one else. It is also BGQ’s choice what to publish.

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