A collective of female Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players going by the name of Bully Hunters has got together in order to tackle bullying and sexual harassment in the CS:GO community.
Supported by companies such as accessories manufacturer Steel Series, non-profit organisation Diverse Gaming Coalition and the National Organization for Women, the Bully Hunters offer to fight the issue from the inside, by joining CS:GO games where abuse is reported and beating the bullies "through the sheer force of their unmatched skill." The first “hunt”, as they call it, will be live tomorrow (April 12th) at 6pm CDT (midnight in the UK) on Twitch.
“Over 21 million female gamers have reported sexual harassment in-game. And while many gamers are fighting this hateful enemy in their own games, their own communities, and their own streams, the vast majority remain silent,” the Bully Hunters, whose members have chosen to remain anonymous, said in a statement. “We are a community of gamers, brands, and organisations fighting to eliminate in-game harassment. What will start as a small team of pro gamers will turn into a global tool that connects victims of harassment with highly skilled gamers, in real time. We invite all gamers who want to stand up to harassment to join our fight and help bring an end to this toxic behavior.”
The Bully Hunters hope to expand both their team of players and the games they tackle, as this is meant to be a “long-term initiative.”
A spokesperson for the Bully Hunters further said they “are prepared for the possibility of retaliation and are putting measures in place to combat that,” PC Gamer reported. They continued: “[The Bully Hunters] will not purposely incite or encourage additional harassment or abuse, and will only engage with harassers through gameplay, eliminating them from the game using their skills and talent. Additionally, there will be a ratings system within the global tool which will allow both hunters and victims to rate their experiences, therefore reducing the chances of trolls infiltrating the system."
Here’s the video announcing the Bully Hunters’ initiative, offering a glimpse at what women have to endure on a regular basis when playing online games: