One of the victims, named AJ, posted video of the incident to Twitter on Nov. 15. It shows the players shooting at him while yelling homophobic comments over the game’s proximity voice chat.
“We’ve come to eliminate all gays,” they say. “Eliminate the queers. We’ve got to decontaminate the AIDS.”
“Fallout 76’s” anti-griefing mechanic prevented their bullets from dealing significant damage to the lower-level avatars, however, and AJ told Eurogamer he hoped they would just get bored and leave.
“They stuck with it and even joked about how ‘this is the strongest queer I’ve ever seen,'” he said.
Eventually, they managed to kill the players’ characters and they respawned on another server.
AJ said he posted the video to Twitter because “Fallout 76” doesn’t currently have a way to report other players. Bethesda responded with a link to its website-based player reporting feature, but AJ and his friends had issues with it. It asked for video of the incident but didn’t accept video files. The page wouldn’t even load for AJ, he said. “It seems very difficult to report players,” he said.
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One of the players is a high school senior who goes by the name NathanTheHicc. He reportedly uploaded his own video of the incident to YouTube under the title “Cleansing of the queers” (it appears to be gone now), but told Eurogamer he doesn’t hate gay people.
“It was just a late night of having fun and after the first encounter (seen on my channel) we felt it would be fun to offend them somehow. You can call that evil but I think it’s just playful immaturity,” he said.
“I do not regret the incident. I will not apologize given the opportunity. I don’t plan on doing anything like this in the future, but to be fair I didn’t plan the initial incident, I just found them and decided to go through with it.”
A Bethesda spokesperson told Eurogamer it handed NathanTheHicc and his friends a three-day ban while the customer support team investigated the incident. After its review, it decided to permanently ban the players who committed the homophobic attack.
“We will not tolerate this kind of behavior by any of our players, nor towards any of our players,” it said. “We will continue to investigate claims of misconduct or abuse — along with Microsoft and Sony — and take action when necessary.”