The Games and Online Harassment Hotline is a free, text message-based, confidential emotional support hotline. We created the Hotline specifically for the gaming community. Whether you’re a player, a developer, a streamer, a competitor — any part of this community —we’re here for you, whether that means offering emotional support or finding the referrals and resources that you need.
In 2019, video games had their own #MeToo moment, as many brave individuals came forward with stories that made it impossible to any longer ignore a shameful truth: The video game industry, like so many others, has long been a place where sexism has run rampant, where privileged men have utilized imbalances in power to take advantage of female employees, to harass and abuse them, and then to protect themselves from any consequences for their actions. We won’t let it be that way anymore.
One factor that has enabled abusers to get away with such behavior is that for far too long, the targets of their abuse have often felt isolated, as if they had nowhere to turn. We started the Games and Online Harassment Hotline to ensure that anyone who experiences such abuse can reach out to us to get whatever support they might need, whether it’s just someone to talk to about what they’re going through or referrals to other resources to help them protect themselves or take legal action.
The initiative was spearheaded by advocate and activist Anita Sarkeesian, herself no stranger to abuse in gaming culture. Anita recognized that sexist harassment and abuse in games was not just the result of a few bad actors, but rather was a systemic issue, one that has to be tackled by initiatives and resources specifically tailored to address the unique dynamics that exist in the games industry. Bringing her hard-earned personal knowledge of best practices for dealing with harassment to the table, Anita teamed up with Christopher Vu Gandin Le, who has nearly 20 years of experience with crisis hotlines, to design The Games and Online Harassment Hotline. Working in collaboration with other experts in mental health and social services, they’ve established the Hotline as one part of a network of new initiatives designed to take on the deeply entrenched sexism in gaming culture.
The Games and Online Harassment Hotline recognizes the pioneering work done by Zoe Quinn and Crash Override. Everything we do is building on their hard work and the lessons learned from their experiences in this space.
The Games and Online Harassment Hotline is a resource that’s here to provide support to anyone who might need it. Most importantly, it’s here for you. So don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
The Games Hotline is run by Feminist Frequency’s staff.
Hotline Director and Programs Manager
Carl Murray Olsen
Christopher Vu Gandin Le
Hotline Technical Specialist
Executive Director of Take This
Assistant Professor, University of Illinois – Chicago
Dr. Sarah Hays
A project of this magnitude takes a village. We wouldn’t be able to do this work without the aid, patience, generosity, and wisdom of so many amazing peer organizations and individuals lifting us up. We extend special thanks to the following orgs who have gone above and beyond in working deeply and extensively with us.
Beyond all the space they’ve created and pathways they’ve forged for mental health in games, Take This has been consistently supportive in offering us guidance and knowledge about the games industry and wellness for gamers. We have come to rely on them for community solidarity, research guidance, and their wealth of perspectives.
From awareness-raising to knowledge-sharing, AnyKey has shown up for the Games Hotline in myriad ways. They’ve contributed valuable materials on Esports to our training, hosted a delightful fundraiser, offered research insight, and are perpetually supportive of our endeavors. We are proud to be an AnyKey affiliate.
As an organization on the forefront of research on the intersectional impacts of representation in media spaces, we are so grateful for their insightful and whole-hearted support of the Games Hotline. From analyzing data, to drafting reports, and holding our hands through the various options and paths forward, they have been a crucial supporter to helping us find the stories we can tell about our work.