Rec Room

Rec Room

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Rec Room > General Discussions > Topic Details
BirdyBot Dec 3, 2016 @ 1:03pm
Sexual Harrassment: Rec Room
I think this game has fantastic potential. As a female player, though, I find it distressing that if I use an unmodified microphone or the female avatar clothing/hair options, it's inevitable that within a few minutes, a small minority of players will swarm me and make sexual jokes/gestures. VR has that ability to make it personal. Being a woman on the internet, being harassed is inevitable, but with a VR headset on, it makes the experience of being sexually harassed pretty spooky. (I'm understating, actually. I near threw off my headset and was horrified the first time it happened.)

The majority of players are wonderful and incredibly helpful.

I would love to have a function to report players. The Ghost Mode is helpful (when not in game) to deter the predatory behaviours, but it's a trade-off. In Ghost Mode, I can no longer interact with any other players, while players who are behaving this way can still access all the features of the game.

Perhaps if players accrued strikes against their account, they could be temporarily banned, or put into Ghost Mode themselves for a short amount of time. Maybe if a player reported another, there could be a 'Personal Bubble" and Auto-Mute placed on the offending player.

Just to be more specific: Since I've installed the game, I've played three times. Each of these play sessions has been interrupted by an incident of another player making sexual gestures/comments towards my avatar. It's difficult to muster up the courage to go back into the game knowing that unless I hide my identity or go into Ghost Mode, it's going to happen again. Three out of three is not a huge sample size, but it's enough to make me feel nervous about entering the game again.

Another minor suggestion would be to alter the Dorm Room tutorial messages when customizing your avatar. It would have been awesome to know how to use Ghost Mode immedietely after booting up the game, rather than feeling helpless the first time harassment happened. I ended up searching the forum to find out how to use the Ghost Mode.

Sorry for the long-winded post. The grand majority of players are amazing and fun. Please let me know if there's other steps I can take, other than Ghost Mode and changing my avatar's gender.

Thanks,
BirdyBot
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Showing 1-15 of 31 comments
gribbly  [developer] Dec 4, 2016 @ 10:32am 
Hey BirdyBot,

Thanks for telling us about this. Sorry you've had this experience three times, it is not the experience we intend to create (hence our Code of Conduct, which makes it clear that harassment isn't welcome). But we welcome all feedback whether positive or negative.

Question: Were these three incidents during a game? Or during more free-form time (e.g., pre- or post-game, or hanging out in the Locker Room)?

It's encouraging to hear that our imperfect systems (ghost mode, etc.) were at least somewhat helpful. We will continue to improve them, based in large part on feedback like this! Your suggestion to add Ghost Mode to the tutorial is a good one, I think that makes sense.

From reading your message, it seems like you may not have discovered the ability to "perma-ghost" someone?

That's not on you - our UI is still too clunky and confusing in lots of areas, and this is one of them :-/

To perma-ghost someone:

1) Find any player in the list of players (either local players in the "People" menu, or the list of local players that appears on the watch when you activate ghost mode)

2) Click on them to open their "player card"

3) Click "Ghost"

That player - and that player only - will appear as a ghost for you. So that means you can see an interact normally with all the other players, and just the one who was bugging you is rendered as a (hopefully easy to ignore) ghost. Perma-ghost currently works for the duration of a session (i.e., if you log off and come back, you'll need to re-ghost that person). We may make this persistent across sessions.

There's also the vote to kick system, whereby one player can initiate a vote a player who is violating the code of conduct. Vote to kick works now, but some pretty big improvements and tweaks coming in our next update. So that is another potentially useful tool. You access it the same way as perma-ghost.

One other minor thing you might try is the voice-lowering filter which is available in settings.

Obviously a problem with these solutions is that they basically put the onus on you to take action. Still thinking about how to improve that aspect.

Thanks again for your feedback. This is an area of constant focus for us, and while I can't promise we'll be perfect, I *can* promise that we are listening to feedback and are committed to experimenting, learning and doing our best to ensure Rec Room is a fun and welcoming experience for people from all walks of life.
BirdyBot Dec 4, 2016 @ 2:14pm 
Thanks for the fantastic reply - I hadn't realized I could perma-Ghost a player individually! That is exactly the sort of feature I was hoping for.

To be more specific, two of the three incidents took place in the Rec Room main Locker (Lobby area). The last was in the lobby pre-game area of the Paintball game, and the fellow was on my team (which I imagine necessitates that we see each other, even if I Ghost-Mode'd him beforehand).

Thank you for taking steps to make the experience comfortable and fun! I really appreciate the reply, as I'm sure other players do as well. It means a lot that you're looking into the issue.
bastian74 Dec 8, 2016 @ 3:04pm 
It would be nice if you could point at a player, click a button and then select from a wheel menu what you want to do to them. (Block/ghost/whatever) It's more natural / seamless than using the wrist UI. Though I understand the need to be able to block people you can't actually see in the game, as well.
Last edited by bastian74; Dec 8, 2016 @ 3:04pm
gribbly  [developer] Dec 8, 2016 @ 3:49pm 
@bastian74 - yes, we've had similar thoughts, and I agree that would probably be better. In our initial experiments it could be tricky to target players who were teleporting around. Especially if they were actively trying to avoid being targeted =]

I think it's possible we could make this work, but we need to think/experiment some more.
bastian74 Dec 8, 2016 @ 3:57pm 
You could just let players use both methods. Also, I don't find it very intuitive to tell WHO the sound is coming from when players talk / make noise. Could you put the little sound-waves icon that you see in games like GTA next to their name when they talk? Maybe it's already there and I just don't notice it
gribbly  [developer] Dec 8, 2016 @ 10:26pm 
Yup... we do this in the player lists in the "People" menu (open the watch, click on the icon of multiple people). We are planning to add some kind of "sound wave" effect near the mouth to make it easier to see who is talking. We used to pulse the player name in time with the voice, but now that I think about it we may have broken than and not fixed it :-/
Dash Dec 9, 2016 @ 1:28pm 
Today a certain Finnish player walked up to my 6 year old son and made jerk off gestures directly into his face.

It's very fun seeing the younger kids running around doing crazy stuff. However, I think the RecRoom dev team really need to do something (i dont know what) about the sexual gestures and bad language, before they lose the friendly atmosphere, and eventually lose the younger audience entirely. It's sad that people don't know how to behave themselves, but it's ultimately up to RecRoom to decide if this gets tolerated or not.
Last edited by Dash; Dec 9, 2016 @ 1:29pm
bastian74 Dec 9, 2016 @ 2:11pm 
On one hand, this is the new world we live in. Kids are more resiliant than you think. Teach them how to block users that are inappropriate.
On the other hand, they could segregate to age groups, but that would effecitvely just block all children from playing. Having kids sign up for internet services/games has a lot of restrictive legal problems so for the most part they just get denied. Then the kids lie about their age and play anyways.
exsstas Dec 9, 2016 @ 4:05pm 
But there is a rules on the front page: Children under thirteen are not allowed.
Children between 13-18 must consult with a parent or guardian before playing.
Last edited by exsstas; Dec 9, 2016 @ 4:11pm
gribbly  [developer] Dec 9, 2016 @ 6:01pm 
@Dash - sorry you had that experience. Sexually explicit behavior like that is against our code of conduct. We have several systems in place that let people react (e.g., ghost mode, mute and ghost, vote to kick) to these situations, and we are always looking to improve our passive systems as well. We have ideas, but also want to proceed with caution so as not to squeeze all the fun out of freeform social interaction. So it will take some time to get it right.

On the other side, as @exsstas points out, it is against our terms of service for a child under the age of 13 to be in Rec Room: "Children under thirteen are not allowed."

I would ask that you respect our terms of service and not bring him in to Rec Room in the future.
bastian74 Dec 9, 2016 @ 8:25pm 
The reason children under 13 aren't allowed is because any service that a child under 13 signs up for has to have parental concent in written and verified form. Since that is virtually impossible on the internet most companies just ban children.
Dash Dec 10, 2016 @ 12:32am 
Interesting. Maybe you guys need a mod in the Locker room, banning children, because a large percentage of players are in violation of your terms of service.

Also, I'd appreciate it if you can explain to him why h is not welcome on your service. His wish for christmas was to have more kids in paintball, go figure...

Looks like we might be getting Smashbox Arena soon.
Last edited by Dash; Dec 10, 2016 @ 12:33am
bastian74 Dec 10, 2016 @ 3:04pm 
I'm not a part of any company or comunity here, I'm just telling you the legal problems of letting any child sign up. Of course, the children all do anways (just lie about their age) and they are all in violation of the TOS. There's always little kids playing Grand Theft Auto 5 (which has nudity, profanity, violence and they don't allow children either)
Last edited by bastian74; Dec 10, 2016 @ 3:05pm
Eerio Dec 11, 2016 @ 5:40pm 
I'd love to see a system that is similar to the current banning system - but works silently and doesn't require a majority vote from the current space. Almost like a reddit upvote/downvote for people. So when people enter a space and don't act accordingly they can be judged and it will reflect on their profile/account. I've seen a lot of good in this game/exerience, but like others I've seen people misbehave.
ethzero Dec 12, 2016 @ 2:19am 
(Apologies for not confirming this in game but...) I think I had a situation the other day where I was in the lobby and I'd chosen to Ghost an particularly irritating and sweary child(!); Shortly after I then made a Party with others but to my dismay the Ghost-child was able to join my party because... they'd fist-bumped with someone else :/

I *love*/would it be practical(?) to only allow people to join a party if ALL members of that party are mutually non-Ghosts (or in otherwords, if just one person has ghosted another potential party member, that person is rejected to join party).
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Rec Room > General Discussions > Topic Details
Date Posted: Dec 3, 2016 @ 1:03pm
Posts: 31