Tabletop Simulator is at the heart of two competing Steam review bomb campaigns – one of which is criticising developer Berserk Games for kicking a player for discussing their LGBTQ+ identity, and another separate campaign that’s leaving transphobic positive reviews.
Issues with Tabletop Simulator started when a player named Xoe said she had been kicked from a global chat for stating that she’s gay. In a thorough Google document, Xoe has explained that she was “repeatedly being kicked” from “discussions about being gay by sharing that I am also gay”. Upon raising this issue in the Tabletop Simulator Discord, Xoe was told that global chat was “not a place to discuss sexuality, fetishes, [or] politics”. As detailed further into the Google document, Xoe shares several examples where discussing politics and heterosexuality did not result in a kick.
— 🐰🔪 Xoe 🏳️⚧️ blm & plm (@XoeAllred) January 8, 2022
Developer Berserk Games has shared a statement saying that it does not “censor, suppress or ban users for expressing their identity, race or orientation” and argues that a “user” – implied to be Xoe – was “timed out from the chat for what was deemed disruptive behaviour by spamming different key words in an attempt to get flagged”.
In a follow-up statement, Berserk Games then said it has “decided to take down global chat as we reassess our moderation process” and admitted that it has some “shortcomings”.
“Tabletop Simulator recognises that the current moderation process of our global chat has failed to uphold its original intention and we apologise for this as well as anyone who was hurt or made to feel unwelcome the past few days,” the latest statement reads.
— Tabletop Simulator (@TabletopSim) January 9, 2022
Now, the Steam page for Tabletop Simulator is the subject of two separate review bomb campaigns. Review bombing refers to the practice of players leaving reviews en-masse that are often left to raise issue with certain topics.
On one side, LGBTQ+ supporters are accusing Tabletop Simulator of creating a platform for “anti-LGBT rhetoric” that they feel is unwelcome to trans players.
On the other, multiple positive reviews are being left that are openly transphobic and praise Berserk Games for actions that they feel are likewise transphobic. In these positive reviews, several – which will not be linked here but can be viewed on the game’s Steam page – call the developer “based” and are riddled with transphobic and homophobic slurs.
Although Steam has identified that Tabletop Simulator‘s reviews have received “one or more periods of off-topic review activity”, some of the most openly homophobic reviews remain to be removed. Berserk Games has not yet publicly commented on the transphobic Steam reviews.
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