A website where gamers can show their support for the fight against online bigotry has been attacked, less than a week after going live.
Founded by comedian Sam Killermann, Gamers Against Bigotry aims to fight the use of bigoted language in online gaming by collecting pledges from players stating that they won’t be party to such behaviour.
The signatures would then be used to lobby developers in the hope that they created better ways of dealing with unsavoury types within their games, according to the site's mission statement.
However, all pledges were lost in a cyber-attack on the site last week.
During the attack, hate speech and offensive pictures were plastered on the site before the culprits took it down completely.
Killermann doesn't know how many people were involved, but did note that the defacement proved why a site like Gamers Against Bigotry needed to exist.
"This stuff that we all deal with nowadays – like the harassment and the identity-based bigotry and all that stuff that gets flung around – never really existed until a few years ago," he said.
"I remember my first time playing Halo 2 on Xbox Live and... that was the first time I ever heard someone say the n-word during a video game. I had never ever experienced that my entire life, and I had been playing games my whole life. It's only gotten worse since then – or at least more common."
The attacks didn’t come as a complete surprise, he said.
"I knew that, when I launched that website I was stepping into a ring that was kind of gonna be like a no punches pulled, just gotta be ready for it kind of situation.
"That's tough, that's kinda unfortunate that standing up for the underdog means you're gonna be attacked but apparently that's just kinda the way the world is right now.
"We were, apparently, at 1500 pledges, so threatening to these peoples' lifestyles that they decided to take down the entire website."
Funding from an IndieGogo campaign to register the site as a non-profit and help spread word of the campaign would instead be used to make sure that a similar incident wouldn't happen again.
"What's really sad about that is that one person or a small group of people has managed to effectively take away the voices of 1,500 people who have signed the pledge so far," said Killermann.
The site's IndieGogo fundraiser has achieved its goal of US$700 (NZ$800) and pledges stand at US$1397 (NZ$1786) with eight days remaining.