20 December 2017
‘The goal isn't to attack anyone who falls short, but to make our community as welcoming and inclusive as possible’
Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast has responded to reports of harassment in the collectible card game’s community by issuing a set of community guidelines designed to stamp out toxic behaviour.
The move follows in the wake of the high-profile departure of Christine Sprankle, arguably Magic’s most prominent cosplayer, from the community after alleged harassment by Magic content creator MTGHeadquarters, also known as Unsleeved Media.
At the time, Sprankle said she was “super tired of the harassment and would love to have some peace and quiet”.
Wizards responded to the ongoing controversy by tweeting: “Cyber bullying and harassment are unacceptable, and we support those who come forward with their experiences. No one should be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome. We're working to be a part of the solution.”
The publisher attracted criticism from some fans for not taking a strong enough stance on combatting bullying in the community, but now appears to putting forward a more concrete position with a new list of ‘expectations’ posted online by Magic CEO Chris Cocks.
The ‘Commitment to Each Other’ is divided into four main vows: “Put fun first”, “respect your play environment”, “welcome everyone” and “follow the rules”.
“These expectations help us keep our diverse community healthy as we share our love of games,” Cocks wrote.
“On the community's end, this commitment can be a tool players can point to in order to help keep play spaces fun. This commitment only works if we all want to make a positive, awesome community and we use this as a guiding light.”
Cocks encourages those suffering from harassment to inform the owners of the store or gaming space where it happened, or to get in touch with streamers running livestreams where nasty behaviour is encountered.
“Of course – and this is important – if you do say something, please do so in a constructive way,” he adds. “Sometimes a lapse in judgment can be an opportunity to learn and grow. The goal isn't to attack anyone who falls short, but to make our community as welcoming and inclusive as possible – and maybe even make a new friend.”
He closes by promising that the expectations extend to Wizards itself, too, asserting: “We're not even close to done working to make the Magic community the best it can be.
“Everyone at Wizards of the Coast wants to foster inclusive, positive, inviting places and groups for all Magic players, so that the next time a pair of friends shows up at a local game store, they find a community as welcoming and as awesome as I did. So we're going to keep trying to achieve that. That's our commitment to you.”