Over the past week, something weird happened. An organization, backed by various brands such as Steel Series and Vertagear, called the Bully Hunters announced itself as a collective of high-skill gamers on a mission to fight online toxicity in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Promoting itself as a vigilante organization, the group hosted a livestream event essentially seeking out players accused of online harassment and targeting them in-game.
In addition to the brands associated with PC gaming equipment, the National Organization for Women and the Diverse Gaming Coalition are also involved in sponsorship roles. Part of the stream was talking about online harassment statistics. The Bully Hunters effort appears to be intended as a sort of hybrid between entertainment and education, presented with a sort of kayfabe element that appears staged in part, but presented vaguely as real.
The Bully Hunters website lays out all the details and even has sign-ups for qualified gamers to become “bully hunters” themselves. Steel Series is also selling a new, Bully Hunters-branded gaming headset. Most people seem to have no idea what to think of all this, but as more streams happen, we’ll likely figure out what the intent here is. If it builds an audience and raises further awareness of online toxicity, then great!
Source: Bully Hunters