MMO’s are challenging places for woman gamers, especially in games like EveOnline where local chat cannot be ignored and social interaction is a must for in-game survival. Many MMO’s have harrassment policies which claim “zero tolerance” or speak of creating an inclusive environment but what is more important than having these policies is the enforcement of them.
If and when these types of events are reported they are investigated within the organization, the findings are kept private and the results are not shared with the public or with the person who reported the harassment. How can we be certain these issues are being addressed if the findings are never released? How can we quantify these incidents if statistics on frequency and outcomes are not available. I believe if a company really wanted to fight against harassment they would share information on how these incidents are handled so offenders could see the results of these kind of actions. I also believe that when an investigation finds evidence of harrassment the outcome should be shared with the person reporting it so they can feel safe within their game space.
In a recent harassment event in EveOnline (found here) links were placed in public chat showing offensive material that equates to sexual agression. EveOnline’s boilerplate response to a harassment claim is as follows: