Gaming can be an amazing way to meet new people, participatie in awesome communities and just be a fun way to hang out in a different environment. However, whenever you are communicating with people you don’t know or don’t know very well it is very important to consider your privacy and personal safety.
- What you say isn’t private: Always keep in mind that once you say something, you have potentially said it to everyone.
- Friendships change over time: The people in your union or on your friends list can and will change over the weeks and months.
- Not everyone is who they claim to be: It is very easy to build up an online personality that may not be true.
These three things together can make sharing information about yourself dangerous. Not everyone in your union will share the same friends or beliefs. You never know if something you said privately to a game friend may be shared accidentally, or on purpose.
How to Keep Yourself Safe
In game harassment and bullying is sadly an unavoidable issue, even in some of the better moderated games. While you can’t stop someone from making the choice to harrass you, you can choose to protect your privacy as much as possible to stop your private life from being shared with everyone.
If you wouldn’t want your worst enemy to know it about you, then don’t share it with the gaming community. It can be easy to share exciting news about your family, job, or life in general in conversations with others. However, always be aware of who can read what you are saying, how it might look out of context, and what it says about you. Always remember that what you share with someone may not stay private. When in doubt keep the conversation vague. Don’t share specific details and avoid giving clues to help identify your real life location, job, and family. Keeping your conversation focused on game content is always a safer choice.
Don’t share information that links your social media to your in game character. This is especially important for members of the Game of Sultans Facebook group. Posting or commenting that you are SultanName from ServerNumber connects your personal information to your in game persona. It is public for everyone to see including the people you may not get along with. Information about who you are either comes from you talking about yourself or from connecting who you are in game to publicly accessible information about yourself.
Please note that binding your game account to your facebook as your login method does NOT risk your private information in any way. Other players cannot access this information, you have to tell them it.
Check your privacy settings for your social media. If you are connecting on Facebook, Discord, Line, or any other social media it is very important to check your privacy settings. Look to make sure things like birthday, location, job, schools, and friends lists are private. Check who can add you as a friend and who can send you private messages.
when HARASSMENT occurs
Screenshot the occurances. Start documenting the conversation at the start. Keep dates and copies of the reports you make of the harassment. This helps build up a case against the player and to help show that the behavior is not being taken out of context and is frequently occuring.
Don’t respond back. Often times the things you or someone else says in your defense feeds the issue not fixes it. It feeds the satisfaction of the harasser knowing that they are getting to you. Additionally it is very easy to respond in kind to the player launching insults in return. This can result in you ending up in trouble instead of them, or in some cases, the issue being dismissed since you were both breaking the rules.
Take this a step further and block the player. While this may not solve the problem in all cases, sometimes a lack of attention to a player can stop the behavior. More importantly though it helps give you distance from the issue both for your emotional health and to keep you from getting yourself into trouble. Let someone who is willing to monitor the situation without responding to it send you the screenshots if the behavior continues or report it on your behalf.
Report the behavior. If this continues for more than a few days, then don’t wait for the issue to disappear. Reach out to the game moderators and developers and start a report with one of them. The best way to start a game report is by contacting one of the game moderators via the official GOS Facebook Group or the GOS Discord Group.
What to Report: Harassment in the game is defined by what players type. This can be through local, cross server, or private messages. It also includes changing their name in an attack against a player (or just general inappropriate words) and using heir names to harass a player.
What is NOT Reportable: Being challenged or raided in arena, receiving rats at feasts, being kicked from painting rooms. These are all considered by the developers part of the game play and will not be considered harassment. Some general things to keep in mind:
- Challenges and raids outside of arena rush just waste that players items
- Feasts can be set to private – invite friends and union members to fill the seats without risk of rats
- Work as a union to set up paint rooms with protection for at least a part of the time
- You can never be kicked from a room when you are the teacher
What to include in your report: When making a report send screenshots of the behavior and include the player ID of the person you are reporting. If the screenshots are not straightforward insults, include context for what the moderator and developers are looking at. Whenever you are reporting a problem that is not posted in English either work with a moderator who speaks that language (join the Discord Group to see this information) or provide translations of the chat to English if at all possible.
After making the report: Be patient, a lot of the times the report gets sent in at 1 or 2 am for the developers. Moderators can only forward your report to the developers, they cannot do any muting themselves. Due to time zones, not all reports will be dealt with immediately. Keep in contact with the moderator. Initial reports often result in a short temporary mute of a day or two. It takes time to build up a series of reports to get a longer or more permanent mute. The developers do not monitor a player after the mute has been lifted and moderators do not play on every server. It is crucial that you continue to communicate with the moderator if the behavior continues.