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Magic: The Gathering publisher unveils new community guidelines in wake of harassment reports

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‘If you do say something, please do so in a constructive way’

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A young may flies through the clouds below fluttering, mechanical dragonfly wings. He is grinning ear-to-ear. Wilian Murai/Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast CEO Chris Cocks today announced a new set of conduct guidelines that he expects members of the Magic: The Gathering community, retailers and streamers to participate in.

Cocks’ announcement, which can be read in full on the company’s blog, comes in the wake of a popular Magic: The Gathering cosplayer leaving the community because of alleged ongoing harassment from a particular streamer. According to Cocks’ post, the company will be teaming with streamers and retail stores to ensure these guidelines are posted in clear view of people either playing or watching.

“Should you spot an issue, contact the owner or operator of the store, stream, or play space first,” Cocks’ post reads. “They will hopefully be ready and willing to address any issues locally. However, if you feel the need to escalate the issue, you can contact Wizards of the Coast directly to report any serious issues by getting in touch with Customer Support.”

Wizards of the Coast announced a couple of weeks ago it was looking into ways curb harassment and cruel behavior among its players. Elaine Chase, brand director for Magic, issued a statement that said the company was investigating reports of bullying, updating its code of conduct violations and even reexamining how Wizards of the Coast organizes live events. Chase’s blog post called out the actions of a few bad actors, noting that harassment in the community can happen in a store or online.

That sense of community can be spoiled by the behavior of a few individuals. We at Wizards of the Coast are disheartened about bullying and harassment in the gaming community; unfortunately, the Magic community is not immune. No one should be subjected to threats and intimidation. No one should be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome while enjoying something they love. All people should be able to express their joy for the game without being attacked, whether that's in a local game store, online, or somewhere in between.

Cocks’ announcement echoes Chase’s thoughts, but adds that if there is a disagreement among people, it should be handled with respect. Discrepancies that aren’t treated with respect from both parties will be investigated by Wizards of the Coast.

“Of course — and this is important — if you do say something, please do so in a constructive way,” Cocks said. “Sometimes a lapse in judgment can be an opportunity to learn and grow. The goal isn’t to attack anyone who falls short, but to make our community as welcoming and inclusive as possible—and maybe even make a new friend.”

The new set of community guidelines will be issued to top streamers, personalities and retail stores soon, according to Cocks’ post.