Before World of Warcraft made gaming a worldwide cultural phenomenon and changed the way most people viewed gamers, i.e. not just something the “reclusive” and people without “social lives” participated in, I used to get a lot of slack from others for gaming.If I wanted to stay home and play a video game my friends would look at me cross eyed. Thus I even shunned myself from gaming and would go out every night, otherwise I myself felt I was wasting my life.Now ever since my first few days in my first MMO, Ultima Online, gamers have been a rabid bunch. They are quick to judge, fast with the tongue, and often very unforgiving. As the avenues for “expression” became larger and the forums wider, those once 14 year olds continued their discriminating banter into what is now many peoples 30’s and 40’s.Why?I dunno about you but I was not the “popular” kid when I first discovered video games. If I was I probably wouldn’t have ended up sinking so much time into them in the first place. Now considering that there are probably a lot of people in the same boat of being the “outcast” the kid who was made fun of, or just having to deal with a little more bullshit than others, why oh why do we go at each other so much in games? Why do we create the same hostile environment in worlds where the entire point is to disconnect a bit from reality and be able to choose for ourselves?
Is skill in a video game the equivalent of “Popularity” in highschool? Does it give you the right to demean, verbally abuse, and do everything you yourself dislike when it is done to you, to others without any remorse? Is the disconnect of anonymity part of it? You would think so but with the release of Facebook, Twitter, and other social mediums where you use your real life name to talk to others and comment on things, I see very little concern for the words people direct at others. Here is a random pull from a search using the term fag and gay:
I think back when anonymity meant something it helped to lay the groundwork for what is now the “socially acceptable norm” for The’Gay’mer. So when anonymity started to fade, people were already ingrained with a culture based on prior shared experience that it continued forward and no one really stood up and said… “I think this is wrong”.
So what we are left with is a now growing gaming culture, that some would even say is more popular than hollywood and movies in terms of time invested, but an archaic and disgusting sense of identification.
“You are such a Fag”, “I r_ped your nigga ass”, “That dude that ganked me is soo gay”.
This is what is associated with The ’Gay’mer. Even coming up with their own iteration of the word; “ghey”.
Why is no one upset by this? It seems the more “gamer” you are, the more stupid the shit that comes out of your mouth is. But instead of backlash, you are solidifying your status amongst the other gamers.
Why has The ’Gay’mer, who probably had to deal with this kind of abuse during highschool, OK with dishing it out to others in this gaming bubble we have created filled with shit and bile?
Why is it in The ’Gay’mer’s DNA to make up excuses for why they were “ganked” or “lost” that blames everyone, everything, but themselves. Why are gamer’s so quick to blame a weapon, a spell, or a mechanic of a game for their own demise, rather than take responsibility for it, learn from it, and get better? Why would The ’Gay’merrather spend more time bitching, moaning, and slandering the person on the other side of the screen, then playing the game they are paying for? Why must they tell people not to use mechanics in the game, so things are “fair”? And if they refuse, they obviously have proven they are “better” than the obviously “gay” person they are fighting.
The logic here just flies out the fucking window with vengeance.
I mean, half the time the shit being said is actually in turn, meaning the person saying it is “gay”. “I’m making you suck my balls!” “I just fucked your ass!”. Really?
Even the big names in gaming,(http://alttabme.com/forum/index.php…d-know-better-shit-be-better.2325/#post-23531) have played into these stereotypes, making videos where they talk in high pitched stereotypical slurring voices, pretending to be “gay”, dropping derogatoryremarks left and right, shit and fart jokes up and down, just to get more views? What age group are they catering to? How does anyone in their late 20’s or 30’s think it is a good idea to act like a neanderthal? Why is it OK to throw out manners, morals, and what might otherwise get you literally fucked up on a street corner in the real world?
If you ask me there ISN’T. As games start to invade our pop culture more and more, we really need to take a stance on it. As I mentioned earlier World Of Warcraft really boosted gaming into the spotlight. Time to become responsible.
I am 29 years old and I don’t want to log into a game and feel like I just turned back time to my teen years. Whether it is the derogatory names, the misuse of offensive words, or just the constant back and forth razzing of one another in a form that just pisses someone off in the long run; it is a constant barrage of shit you would only consider funny when you didn’t know any better and MOST of you know better if you are over the age of 16. I am tired of getting fatigued by the blatant disregard for others in games, otherwise known as “General Chat”. Why the minute The ’Gay’mer turns on their PC, console, or YouTube video, they are transported to a really mean version of a racist bigot at the age of 12, back on the playground, throwing sand with the intention of hurting one another.
When I was younger, I was called gay enough times to make me actually keep a journal of everything that was said, question my own sexuality, and lose a whole lot of sleep thinking I was magically going to turn gay, because some fucking pre-pubescent kid wanted to look cool to his friends, by calling me the “word of the day”. Do people not realize, even though obviously the kid didn’t use the word “gay” in the exact way it is defined, it still impacts the receiver. Now the other thing that gets me fired up is that if you are using “gay” as a derogatory term, then obviously you see someone who is gay as being a negative thing. That doesn’t fly with me.
You all do realize it fucking meant HAPPY at one point right?
Then you get people saying they are going to r_pe you, or they just got r_ped. Please, for gods sake look up the definition of that word. It is NOT in context, EVER, the way The ’Gay’mer is using it. Now think for one second, what if one of the people in your group WAS r_ped, and you are just willy nilly throwing around that word over and over, bringing back up something that they don’t need to hear when GAMING for a release?
How are your words and actions affecting those around you? Do this generation of gamer’s actually care? You wonder why your girlfriend doesn’t want you playing games all the time, when you are screaming racism and r_pe into your mic to what is probably a 12 year old playing CoD on your Xbox.
The fact that kids and adults, alike, are just throwing these words around while gaming is a shame. It truly upsets me and it gives gamer’s a bad reputation overall. And women wonder why they are portrayed poorly in video games. The problem goes much further than just perception, first you need to convince all The ’Gay’mer’s that the way they are treating one another is wrong. Then maybe they will be open to changing the perception of women in games. But then again, how do you even address sexism when the top word to use for getting killed in a game is “r_pe”?
AltTabMe was built with a VERY strict No Tolerance Policy for all of this. Why? Because we truly believe that a gamer can love games, play games, and still be mature, open, accepting, and not project their own “bullied” mentality on others. We have a community that can debate politics, religion, sexuality, and still jump in a game afterwards and play as friends. Why you might ask? Because we all have a common love; gaming. That love mediates us to have educated, mature discussions/debates, rather than just acting out our childhoods times 50. We all understand that even taking a step back from the “in your face” derogatory comments and looking at the micro level of “push and pull” baiting, “sarcasm”, and joking at anothers expense, no matter how big or small, when multiplied by numerous times in a day, week, month, hour… can make someone just no longer enjoy being around you. We are a culture that expresses love with a big giant “Fuck You”. I feel we are better than that.
Take responsibility for yourself. That is how change happens. The ’Gay’mer needs a serious makeover, so for fucks sake, make a change yourself and show some self control, worst case scenario you have changed your own aspect of what it is to be a gamer, best case you set an example for those around you, and it spreads, like a zombie apocalypse, but easier and less running.
And in case you thought this kind of culture wasn’t contagious to the next generation just watch this. While you may laugh, think really hard about this, and if this was your child, how proud would YOU be to be the parent?
The thing I think people don’t even take into consideration is the plain and simple fact that if you act a certain way or treat others a certain way, with the intent of being malicious, be it a “joke” or not, you will eventually get bleed over into your “non-internet life”. This isn’t the 90’s where we weren’t connected 24/7 at the hip. This is 2013 where the internet IS our real life. While a child being brought into this kind of “gaming culture” might get a free pass, why are adults as well? Then when that kid grows up and has seen no repercussions for his/her racist, sexist, demoralizing remarks, how do you expect them to act when they are your boss, or coworker, or friend? We think the only way to teach is by talking, but we forget that when we say nothing, we have taught silent re-enforcement/approval. I have watched kids get called on on Twitter for saying the dumbest things and that is a good step. While we may say, “But they are a kid, they don’t know what they are saying”, I think they know enough to choose whether or not to publicly say hurtful remarks.
This is after his twitter would not stop blowing up from the backlash, maybe this will be a wake up for him so he doesn’t do it again:
Children must understand when they are young and not the coach of a highschool football team, that saying things in a public sphere has or at least SHOULD have consequences.
I honestly think other sites like YouTube, should start handing out repercussions(take away their commenting privileges) to people who treat others like shit. Free speech that looks like this:
Is most definitely not what our four fathers intended when they wrote the constitution. What GOOD is this doing? Tell me the benefits and I will perhaps change my mind…
An don’t you dare tell me it is a life lesson. Fuck that shit. The problem compounds itself when people just accept it as part of “who we are”. I refuse to accept this. And as long as me and the other mods are in charge of AltTabMe, it will NEVER be a part of who WE are either. We choose to take control of our internet and make it a place we never feel ostracized from or hesitant to log into and speak our minds in a manner that we ourselves feel is both positive and productive.
Want to know the secret to making big changes? Live it yourself. Simplest thing you can do. Make the changes you want to, to yourself and you have taken a step in the right direction. You are the most responsible for yourself. Don’t worry about the grand scheme. We didn’t and look at our community: 1000+ members who didn’t melt, explode, or turn into butter for being… wait for it… civil.
Creator of Crafting Worlds for over 10 years. Lover of non techy tech reviews, ranting, being extremely opinionated, and all things artsy.
Loves Unicorns and Butterflies.
Crafting Worlds was founded on the idea of a place where fun and our everyday lives could intermingle. It is important that the stigmas attached to gaming and anonymity are not taken advantage of, but used to empower a mature community where actions reflect on the entire member base and give each individual a voice without defamation.