Killing Floor 2 is a sequel to the highly successful zombie horde FPS from 2009, based on Unreal Engine 3 and developed by Tripwire Entertainment. Currently, Killing Floor 2 is in Early Access on Steam, but what drew attention to it were parts of its EULA from April 21, 2015, which every customer must agree to in order to install the game. The EULA was written to be easily understandable for an average person, but included some wording that is extremely worrisome.
While all video game developers want to shield themselves from the players’ actions and include boilerplate language that prohibits cheating, harassment and other disruptive actions, this is a very strange word to place in a EULA. Sexism ought to mean “discrimination based on gender” and thus apply equally to both genders, but in reality, it is used exclusively to mean “discrimination against women” and is interchangeable with “misogyny.” Now, why would a video game developer worry so much about misogyny to the extent of covering it in the EULA? Is Tripwire Entertainment trying to protect a single person from any form of criticism?
There is only one plausible explanation for the inclusion of sexism as a bannable offense: preemptively stopping any discussion of GamerGate by branding it as harassment of women (such as Zoe Quinn), which the mainstream media has already done. The reaction of players to this new EULA has been overwhelmingly negative, which prompted a Tripwire Entertainment developer, [TW]Wilsonam, to rush to the defense of the EULA and reveal another interesting tidbit about the mindset behind the EULA that confirms the above explanation:
Since non-MMO game servers generally don’t include “thousands of people,” there is only one way this scenario can possibly play out. When a GamerGater comes to a Killing Floor 2 forum or uses the chat system within the game to politely and calmly spread the facts about GamerGate, Tripwire Entertainment devs won’t be able to use any of other provisions in the EULA (cheater, hacker, griefer, harasser) to silence him, which is why they included the “sexism” charge.
Finally, to see how far we have come, take a look at the above screenshot depicting a slice of Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne BNet EULA from 2003. Note the similarities with the Killing Floor 2 EULA and the glaring absence of the word “sexism.”
Simply put, this EULA is a futile attempt to silence GamerGate, but it will never stop. It doesn’t matter what censorship methods are used: GamerGaters will keep criticizing Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn and the rest of the gang.