These are one of the least viewed threads. I know because a lot of atheists don’t play games.
I do. But one of the problems in “games” is pretending to be white.
You pretend to be white, male and straight online. Because Pacman help you if they find out.
A woman? You are fat, ugly or slutty. Black? Nigger! Jew? Every single anti-semitic term possible as if it was Black (armband?) Friday at the Nazi store.
But Riot Games has done one thing. You see they have a system where you can report racism and other abuses. You want to know something? Their League of Legends Tribunal system actually gets the community to judge people
I sadly found out it doesn’t work. I found out by the admission of the people who were perpetrating this, that either no one was reporting them or that no actions took place with them.
So I am torn. See, we actually have a problem in gaming. We do have a lot of people who think that behaviour online does not need to match behaviour offline.
That it’s okay to call someone a racist, sexist or homophobic terms because “it’s okay! They are far away and there is no backlash!”. Of course I won’t use it IRL! Are you mad! They will do x, y or z to me!
If the only reason you aren’t a public racist is because you fear x,y and z then you are not a good person. You are someone who harbours the racist thoughts but cannot act on them because you fear the “persecution for your deeply held beliefs”. You don’t listen to those fascist thought police!
A little background for those who aren’t gamers who are reading this. League of Legends is a MOBA style game. Basically you got two teams of a variety of colourful champions who do different sorts of things from the traditional “Tank” to “Burst” to “DPS” to “Buff” to “crowd control”. Basically it’s a team game. It values both individual skill and the skill of coordination. Your attack damage champion may be incredibly powerful over a prolonged fight but my burst champion can quickly blow him up then run away, so you need your tank to keep me from doing that and get me out of the way before you focus on others. It’s all about position, mobility and working as a team.
It’s quite a popular game. Another famous “atheist” (Okay a famous atheist plays it with me sometimes)often plays and we like doing so because “it’s fun”. JT’s a lot better than me (it’s a quick response game and his net’s just so much better!) but we do have fun and we do like playing together because we laugh at each other’s mistakes, are less competitive and because it’s fun to play within the atheist community.
And it’s an easy game to rage because of the toxic play environment that crops up due to competition so it’s nice to step away from all that with JT. I know I find myself getting angry at people who insist you can take one champion and do something not only outside their design but something out of their design that they are simply not that good at.
I am not Black, I am Asian, but I know the power of the word. My people were indebtured labourers. Which is like a slave but only because you are poor and so now how to work off your debts like a slave. I have black friends and I grew up with the black kids in my region because in the early 90s when racism was a little bit more overt especially in Scotland where people still lock horns over Cathoics and Protestants, the black community was more supportive. It was a real multicultural group, the Non aligned from all the sectarianism. The “others”. The secularists who didn’t want their kids fighting over one stupid thesis nailed to a door in Central Europe and the non-white kids. I understand that Asians don’t have such a word. The screams of Paki mean little when you are upper middle class getting yelled at by a man in a shell suit and who’s idea of fashion is Burberry.
You are “The Man” and he is raging against the machine that he perceives to be the cause of all of his ills. He is wrong but for the most part racism against the Asian community is a lot less than the stuff that Black people have gone through. The Machine may not exist but damn if he isn’t going to rage. The power structure in the UK is changing in a more positive way towards being more equal and has been at it for a lot longer.
For Black Americans this was the other way around. The Machine was the one screaming Nigger at them. The entire established power structure was both institutionally and actually racist for a long period of time and there are still people alive today who remember that. I remember Rodney King and that was in my life time. I understand the word “Nigger” and it’s horrific association with slavery and the pain and suffering of thousands of African Americans under the apartheid and the painful struggle that goes on to this day against racism.
We atheists are doing better these days. We are trying to get diverse. We are trying to give a voice to a variety of speakers and get atheists of colour out there. Some say this is tokenism but you know what? This tokenism gets voices out there till people stop being the token person.
But there are games. I like Tauriq on here and JT love games. I grew up with them, I still unwind after a long day with something old school and maybe League of Legends if my Internet holds up.
But I do have to pretend to not be white although I am doing it less and less these days. And I know a lot of young gamers who aren’t white are doing so too. You are “colourless” online. And genderless too. This doesn’t mean that there is no race or no gender or no sexuality, it just means everyone assumes you are a white, male and heterosexual (Let’s not even go into the Transexual People. I think if people found out you were openly trans on a game the haterade would reach critical mass)
Obviously what irritates me the most out of the bigots are the racists because it’s a double whammy of being a bigot and being a bigot against me. The sexists and the homophobes are bad but you know what? Their hate doesn’t affect me in a personal way as much as it would if I were a woman or gay. I am sure I would be a lot more angrier about them.
See its hard to play as a minority when a racist is around because you have two options.
Shut up and not confront them and have to listen to them slur away throughout the entire match in silence and pretend to be “white, heteroxsexual and male” (I add all three here because it’s the same if you are Gay or a Woman).
Or make a stand.
And the problem is if the racist is on your own team. You are effectively crippling your team play to call out a bigot.
Today I made a stand.
“Have a good game niggers!”
Is what started it off. It’s polite to wish someone good luck prior to the start off the game, it’s polite to say “have fun”. It’s not polite to drop one of the most vile and hated words in the English language on someone. Even the black community who often utilise the word to refer to each other, to remove the power the word had would not use it on a random group of unknown people because it may cause offence.
So I made a stand, I stated that I don’t like racists, I don’t want to play with them, I don’t think it’s acceptable, I don’t think it’s something that’s part of the community.
What followed was a tirade. Often censored by Riot’s in-game filter that I don’t turn off. But they broke through the filter a couple of times due to mispellings and variations. Nigger, Nig Nig, Nig Nog. Half of me wants to laugh, seriously white racists? You don’t have the stones to say Nigger but want to make up new words to get through filters? Do you realise how stupid you sound saying Nig Nog? I feel brain cells commit suicide while simply writing it.
When I stood up for myself and indeed stated that I do not like racists and they should have no part of the wider gaming community and that they are poisoning the game for anyone not white, I was told that I was so butthurt (because not only am I not white but also because I am gay).
There is nothing wrong with being gay, there is plenty of things wrong with being a homophobe. Cue more racist tirades about my nigger mother. Then they wondered if I had stolen my computer.
All in all a charming person.
But this would have been fine with support right? Wrong.
His friend? Supported him. It was amusing to him. The other people? One other person’s response was “I don’t want to get involved in this”. Which is fine. It’s his choice. When asked why? Because he wanted to win the game and that the argument was affecting the chances to win.
The last person wanted me to stop fighting and just get along with the racist. Because the game became more important than the principle of equality I suppose. And this got me to realising something.
I am at Level 30. It took me months and months to get to level 30. I am sure the more time blessed people would take a lot less time but it’s a lot of work to get there.
They had gotten to Level 30 without anyone calling them out. Without any single person saying “this is wrong”. Not one person has reported them. Or worse, they were reported and no one did anything. That they have played as out and out racists who rant and call people niggers for fun (I assume they are trolls) solely to make everyone who is bothered by racism’s experience in the game worse.
I know why I had to deal with it. See winning the game is more important. You are stuck with your team mates and the problem was not one racist versus two people who don’t think racism is acceptable. It’s two racists versus one who didn’t think so. And it’s better to have two happy racists to win than one unhappy anti-racist.
Let’s assume they aren’t racists. Let us assume they are just trolls who troll and scream things out in the name of free speech and because it’s amusing. Do you think that makes the experience fun for those who are the victims of their hate speech?
I get along with a variety of people. Just not bigots because it means accepting their bigotry and hatred for people who have done no crimes. It is not genuine criticism. It is not productive. It’s basically yelling hurtful things.
Because it’s fun. Because no one’s stopped them.
Call it a problem with being a darkie but I frankly dislike people who discriminate based on the colour of one’s skin. I adjust with someone who doesn’t speak the same language as me. I adjust with people who have a disability which requires me to have some consideration. I adjust with people who are having a temporary difficulty that requires some help.
Adjusting means giving up your seat to the elderly or the pregnant. Adjusting means giving up a little privilege to make life easier for those who temporarily or permanently have theirs reduced.
Adjusting does not mean keeping quite while someone yells a racist word in a predominantly unaffected audience and watching the silent or even sometimes open approval.
And if someone not white gets irritated (because clearly a man who calls others the N word is not exactly a model citizen of progressive thoughts vis a vis melanin content of skin) well poor them. Where are the non-white friends who can help them?
See I am loathe to say it’s some pissant kid with no brains and a stupid mouth, but I know it’s just as likely to be someone my age who’s racism cannot be cured with a grounding and maybe rinsing their mouth out with soap.
And here is the thing. Speaking out against sexism or racism as a gamer will make you a target for harassment. Because racist trolls got to stick together!
I didn’t screenshot the game because it’s hard to screenshot when you are dodging about. But I did screenshot the post-match screens.
The racism is “less” but they still use the word. I unfortunately had the filter on but if Riot checks the chat logs the actual words will be there. And yes I have used Riot’s in system method to complain but judging by the confidence the perpetrators have of dodging the system and the fact they got to level 30 like this? I am loathe to place faith in it.
But this is what’s poisoning gaming, and this is what’s demonising us. And this is why no one takes us remotely seriously when we say that games are progressive and can mean something important to us and are an art form as valid as movies. It’s also why so few people of colour play openly.
I don’t think it’s Riot’s fault. They have a system that they claim works and the stats show it. But it is a problem in the gaming community.
That we would rather win at the game than actually be humane and egalitarian. This is a new thing to games. There was never a culture of such when growing up. If you were racist you had to say it to the face of another human being, and that’s a lot lot harder in an arcade or at your friend’s house during a sleep over.
We grew up like that. Why didn’t we inculcate this into our future generations? And the worst bit is? The lack of this common courtesy in the younger generation who make up the bulk of gamers makes the older gamers want to fit in by being the same. So we often end up with adults who should know better behaving like kids who do not.
It doesn’t make me a happy gamer. It doesn’t make me proud that I play.