SXSW Cancels Gaming Panels Due to Threats

SXSW Cancels Gaming Panels Due to Threats - 2015-10-26 19:38:59

Today SXSW Interactive canceled two sessions for the 2016 event, "SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community" and "Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games."

They had hoped that "hosting these two discussions in March 2016 in Austin would lead to a valuable exchange of ideas on this very important topic."

Yet since SXSW announced the panels they have received a number of threats of on-site violence in retaliation to the programming.

In the official response from SXSW Interactive Director, Hugh Forrest, he made note that "preserving the sanctity of the big tent at SXSW Interactive necessitates that we keep the dialogue civil and respectful. If people can not agree, disagree and embrace new ways of thinking in a safe and secure place that is free of online and offline harassment, then this marketplace of ideas is inevitably compromised."

They went on to say that "over the years, we are proud of the healthy community of digital innovators that has formed around SXSW. On occasions such as this one, this community necessitates strong management to survive. Maintaining civil and respectful dialogue within the big tent is more important than any particular session."

This sort of response from the a negative element does nothing to promote an inclusive atmosphere within gaming. The gaming scene needs to be open if it is to move forward as a medium. Gaming can evolve with the times, but these sort of elements need to step down from this sort of violent action to allow the open acceptance of all people that love gaming no matter the gender, sexual preference or point of view.

  • J.j. Barrington

    "This sort of response from the gaming community does nothing to promote an inclusive atmosphere."

    Are you for real? Which gamers said these things, What consoles/genres do they prefer?

    Don't start labeling internet trolls as gamers and then basing your entire view around that. Cowardly reactions like SXSW's, and ignorant responses like this article, are exactly the sort of thing the people that made the threats want.

    How hard would it have been to beef up security and put out a statement saying that they believe the subject matter to be important enough to continue on? In this case, the terrorists have won.

    Good job, guys.

    • Brendan Frye

      I agree, I have made that change to the story to reflect the fact it is not necessarily gamers making these threats.