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I Get Mail – It’s Your Fault

I knew this would happen before I wrote about racism and gaming.

It’s clear that gamers take criticism poorly. It’s also clear that there are a large number of people who don’t think racism is a problem or something to be opposed.

There are also a sufficient amount of people who simply like shouting Gay/Nigger/Jew because there are no repercussions and “free speech damnit”.

So let’s go into the aftermath of yesterday’s post. 

In just 24 hours I have gotten 5 pieces of mail that suggest I should not complain about racism.

I only have 250 views over 2 days on this. As I said, I segregate my gaming posts and I know people don’t read them as much but “I like it so I do it”. It is part of who I am.

As with all hate mail I retain the right to post them on a pedestal so that we may all mock them.

Shut up you fucking nigger! No one wants your black ass here! I bet you are just angry that you lost due to you being a bitch.

I am opposed to the term “Nigger” because it is a word of hate, pain and abuse that has been used for centuries to oppress Black people. There are equivalent terms for Indians and while less known are no less painful to hear.

And by here you mean League of Legends? Well I don’t play competitively because I cannot guarantee matches like other people and because my net can and will disconnect at inopportune times.

And yes we probably lost due to me taking a stand. I will admit I am unwilling to play with racists or the people who support them. Call it a “stupid nigger” thing (stupid paki probably) but I don’t like people who judge others by the colour of one’s skin.

And if we look at Riot Game’s history of behaviour we see that they are indeed dedicated to trying to make the game more fair and more open and less abusive than other games. That includes racism, homophobia and sexism.

Well 2 our of 3 isn’t that bad. You forgot to call me gay or fag. 9/10 for effort, 1/10 for execution.

You are just butthurt because you are a gay nigger

I am afraid if I were a gay nigger, I would not be butthurt owing to a proper understanding of the joys of lubricant.

You however seem to think that there is something wrong with

1. Being black

2. Being gay

I don’t think there is anything I can call you that insults you as much as the things that come out of your mouth.

They should have given you watermelon and chicken, then you would have won

Because watermelon and chicken turns black people into Popeye the Sailor?

How did a nigger like you get online? Did you steal that PC?

Ah! Actually I got this fine laptop courtesy of Amazon.co.uk’s outlet section where it was second hand. The money for it was donated by the fine people who read my blog. Because people seem (quite strangely) to value the things I say.

A suggestion? Have you tried being less terrible? Because online I have to try to be less “not-white” and if I have to hide my ethnicity at all times online lest I attract the Internet savvy part of the Klan then I am certain that you can at least pretend to be less terrible.

Maybe then people will take you seriously, rather than me framing your ignorance up here to be mocked and ridiculed.

Brought it on yourself.

If you fake loyalty to a group and then start demanding to outcast members of the group right before a match, at a time where every attendee is important for the group’s success, and when noone can reasonably be expected to engange in meaningful non-battle convo, you’ll be seen as the person who will risk the group’s well-being in favor of his own caprice.

If you try to blackmail a group with that kind of behaviour, get ready for the backlash.

If you don’t like the 1st paragraph, try to see it from this perspective:

If it were true, that people in these group are infact racists, is it not remarkable that they’re willing to work with you nonetheless ? Is it not the case that they don’t demand you being thrown out, as soon as they get a glimpse of your none-cis-non-male-non-whiteness ? How come ? Either they aren’t really all that racist, or they’ll accept you as a member of the group because they deem the group’s success to be more important than their own racist attitude.

Whatever it is, the same thing can’t be said about you. That’s why you’ll get an arse kicking, and they won’t.

Now, claim moral superiority all you like – you can’t bend reality according to your wishes. A group will always chose to protect itself, even at the potential cost of single members. Survival reigns supreme. If you really want to make a change, you’ll have demonstrate that the group would actually benefit from your proposals.

Can you do that ?

This one’s from the comment section from Schlumbumbi

See this one’s the more problematic comment when it comes to discussing racism. The earlier stuff is just wankers. People blessed with the anonymity of the Internet who hang themselves (Oh incidentally? They hit the banhammer rather hard on the way down. Amazing! A post about racism on a game and I had to DOUBLE the number of people banned!) on the long rope of free speech.

But this is the problem. The people who simply do not see why it’s a problem or why we should stand up and fight against any sort of bigotry. There were people who told me NOT to complain because of the hate mail I would get. But then who will complain? How can I expect others to do what I was not willing myself to do?

It’s the same attitude as the person who just wanted to win without any consideration to the method of victory. That was more important than the game.

When the Dutch Football team was harassed at the previous European Cup by racists for having black players in their team they threatened to walk off. They threatened to stop playing.

They didn’t care. They would FORFEIT their match rather than play with a racist CROWD let along racist opponents. And FIFA stood by them. It’s called integrity.

What blackmail? In LoL you start a match with a random set of players. You can form groups but you do not need all 5 players since it fills the slots with random players. In this case it was 3 “friends” and 2 randoms. Me and the person playing as Sona.

I started a match and was subject to a torrent of abuse because I stood up and stated that I didn’t like the idea of racism after the first racist statement made. Yes in hindsight it was a stupid thing to do, yes it may have costed us the game and we may have won had I giggled along and soothed and satiated the racists.

But here is the thing. I was taught from a young age to fight for what I think is right and to not let injustice go unopposed. I know right? Stupid education system! Instead we should teach our kids to follow the herd. Baaaaaa!

I stopped caring about winning the match because I really didn’t want to play with 3 people who considered it acceptable to harass people via racism and a fourth who thought winning was more important than integrity.

Are you seriously trying to defend the usage of the words nigger, nig nig/nog and various other similar words?

These were people who were NOT willing to work together. These were people who got a response to their racist and decided to harass a team mate for having the audacity to have some basic integrity and for speaking up.

See, if you spoke another language and I did not and we played together we would figure out what is happening via non-verbal communication. The game actually has a system for that too. That’s called adjusting or working together despite the circumstance. Having to work with the ethnic minority in the game community despite being a racist is NOT adjusting.

I understand your mocking tone here of “non-cis, non-male, non-whiteness” but I could have been white for all they know. Do you think that white people cannot make a stand against racism? That white men and women cannot stand up and say “I don’t think racism is good”?

And here is the thing. I spoke out against overt racism and was subjected to a tirade during the ACTUAL game. The majority of the abuse was not recorded because it’s impossible to take a screenshot and play simultaneously. I was subject to the harassment while I played. I explicitly mentioned that. So it’s not a case of them being “If they were racists” it was a case of being called a “good nigger” everytime I did something to benefit the team. That is not the action of someone who wants to get along with each other. This is the action of someone who wants one of two things to happen.

1. To win so that they can keep calling their target “a good nigger”

2. To lose so that they can blame the “nigger” for it.

Yes,. The entire group of gamers out there WOULD benefit from simply banning these tools from the game. By removing them from environment they will create a space for non-white gamers and indeed GLBT and women to play games without harassment.

These means way more income. A friendlier game and better public relationships. In short? It’s profitable to kick out the handful of racists and homophobes and sexists in order to attract the potential 50% of mankind that doesn’t play games. It’s a pretty sensible business decision and indeed one for gamers who wish to be taken seriously as befits a billion dollar industry.

Yes I would probably take an arse kicking, and yes I got reported for standing up for racism. No ban yet but I know the Tribunal (because I use it too!) voters get chat logs. So standing up against a racist would probably not get me banned since I believe most people outside the pressure of victory would side against racists.

And no, I cannot bend reality according to my wishes. I can however make small changes that result in larger ones down the line. It is a good thing people who fought against the realities of sexism, homophobia and indeed racism in the larger public life did not listen to people telling them that they cannot change the reality of racism. That sitting in the first class compartment or the front of the bus will not change anything.

If you won’t stand for what you think is right, if you don’t stand and fight for the things that matter to you then who do you think will? Who do you think is going to stand and argue that minority gamers have it bad if not for the people who see the abuse. Do you think sitting quietly and not saying anything will improve how games treat us?

No. Things do not work this way. If you want to make changes to the world you have to do it yourself.

Comments

  1. Jackie wishes she could hibernate says

    Thank you for speaking up. No one should have to put up with this sort of treatment. I’m glad you’re talking about it.

    Next will come the defenders of the community behaving badly to tell you that this is merely a vocal minority and you shouldn’t take it seriously or paint the community with too broad a brush. They won’t tell you when the problem is widespread enough that you can talk about it, because there’s no such thing.

    I’d also bet that you’ll be told you are the “real” racist for talking about the racism you have been subjected to.

    Fuck that noise. You know better and so do your readers. More power to ya, Avi.

  2. Scr... Archivist says

    Thank you for speaking out. I’m not as well-versed in video games as you are, and one of the reasons I generally avoid online games is their reputation as havens for bigotry. Maybe I’ll get a chance if the culture changes.

    Regarding League of Legends in particular, is it possible to simply stand aside during an encounter? How likely is it that a Tribunal would do anything against you for letting your “team”-mates lose?

    More than that, is it possible for characters to die in this game? And could a teammate be the one to do it? I’m the kind of person who would be happy to assassinate a bigot’s character if it makes the player give up. But then, maybe this means I’m not the right kind of person for these games!

  3. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    Ah, “gamers” Self-entitled, privilege drenched assholes. And League of Legends/DOTA2/The MOBA genre in general seems to have picked up a good contingent of these types, especially being team games where one person generally cannot win the game alone. Avi, these folks need to be called out, and you’re doing the right thing by doing so.

    The only way to change the community is to bring the shitty parts into the light, and convince others that we shouldn’t accept this. If the “gaming” cultural community doesn’t want to be perceived as a bunch of hardheaded racist/sexist assholes, then improvement needs to happen. It’s already coming to light, seeing as many online games now have feedback tools, and they do seem to work after a point.

    Keep pushing for higher standards, Avi. The industry and the community need it.

  4. says

    Yeah, this is why I don’t play online except where I can find a group of people I already know will not be awful to hang around with.

    Also, my PS3 screen-name (which can’t be changed, apparently, EVAR) has the word “dyke” in it, because, frankly, that’s who I am. So playing online with people I don’t know often turns into a bit of a nightmare, as there is little that these kinds of yob like more than a good old-fashioned $MINORITY-bashing.

  5. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    @SCR

    Regarding League of Legends in particular, is it possible to simply stand aside during an encounter? How likely is it that a Tribunal would do anything against you for letting your “team”-mates lose?

    This is considered griefing in League, and is an actionable offense. The recommended solution is to mute the offender (so you cannot hear them/see their text), report the offense, and attempt to work through the game to the best of your ability.

    @CatieCat

    This is usually my policy as well. No sense in playing with strangers when you can’t vet for quality control. I am extremely fortunate in that most of my peer group I play with on games are widespread and generally try to keep the rabble out.

  6. Schlumbumbi says

    See how easy it is to give a proper argument when you’re being pushed ?
    Next time, I expect to overcome your laziness first, then write your article.

  7. Schlumbumbi says

    O BTW:
    I do play (and admin) in/an (amateur) shooter clan as well – and if anyone comes even remotely close to attacking members in such a personal manner, he/she would be gone – that’s self-understood. Interestingly enough, that hasn’t happened yet, probably because we’re actually all adults and we pay close attention to who joins our ranks.

  8. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    Schlum @06

    See how easy it is to give a proper argument when you’re being pushed ?
    Next time, I expect to overcome your laziness first, then write your article.

    A fine bit of irony, seeing as you apparently didn’t read either article. I’d suggest rereading and thinking before you post. This is a perfect example of what Avi was discussing: Your attitude that people’s beliefs don’t matter, only “winning.”

  9. Pen says

    I’m not a gamer and frankly I could hardly bear to read your post, from the sheer level of abuse being slung around at first glance, but my daughter is a gamer. Hopefully in relatively safe, moderated spaces suitable for older kids, but nevertheless she caught on quick. At twelve, she understands the wisdom of choosing a non-gender specific name and of fobbing people off when asked her gender outright. Much earlier, she’d noted the lack of female avatars (if that’s the right word) and their offensive intensity of secondary sexual characteristics. By now, she knows her black and Asian friends are doubly screwed when it comes to avatars. Her life’s ambition at the moment is to teach her (much younger) mixed race cousin to be a gamer. She hasn’t yet discovered that if she tries to play with her friends/cousin in un-moderated public spaces they’ll be subject to this kind of abuse.

    Why are the majority excluded from a public space for the benefit of a minority of arseholes? Let’s take those spaces back and they can retreat to the borderlands, reserved specifically for people like them. What’s the hold up? The cost of human moderators? Technical solutions, anybody?

  10. Schlumbumbi says

    @Xaivius #8
    It’s mind boggling how superficial your thoughts are. Peoples’ beliefs do matter. But you have to show why they do. If you’re unwilling or incapable of doing that – you’re not helping.

  11. Holms says

    See how easy it is to give a proper argument when you’re being pushed ?
    Next time, I expect to overcome your laziness first, then write your article.

    Oh wow, you’re actually going with that response? The ‘I only posted that utter bilge as a way of egging you on’ bullshit. Classic trolling, in which you try to quietly climb down from your earlier position without acknowledging the fact that it was refuted point for fucking point.

    Whether you acknowledge it or not, it remains that your post was ridiculously ill informed, poorly reasoned, and disingenuous.

    I do play (and admin) in/an (amateur) shooter clan as well – and if anyone comes even remotely close to attacking members in such a personal manner, he/she would be gone – that’s self-understood. Interestingly enough, that hasn’t happened yet, probably because we’re actually all adults and we pay close attention to who joins our ranks.

    Oh, you only choose cool people to let into your group… where you have direct control over who is granted entry. That’s nice. Completely irrelevant to the situation of being randomly assigned teammates by a game client that you cannot control, but don’t let that stop you missing the point.

    Why are the majority excluded from a public space for the benefit of a minority of arseholes?

    Because that minority of arseholes is also by far the most vocal group in gaming.

    Let’s take those spaces back and they can retreat to the borderlands, reserved specifically for people like them. What’s the hold up? The cost of human moderators? Technical solutions, anybody?

    I heard of an interesting approach that (I think) Microsoft is going to enact in the near future for the XBox Live stuff. The people that are downvoted / reported / banned / blocked etc. with enough frequency get put into their own matchmaking queues… populated solely by other people that have been frequently reported. This effectively segregates the population into Reasonable People and Arsehole People leagues.

    It’s mind boggling how superficial your thoughts are. Peoples’ beliefs do matter. But you have to show why they do. If you’re unwilling or incapable of doing that – you’re not helping.

    Are you ready to make an on-topic point yet?

  12. readingcomprehensionyes? says

    “when you’re being pushed”

    Slumbooby, you’re an idiot and your other post was drivel. Don’t quit your day job, kiddo.

  13. Schlumbumbi says

    @Holms #11
    Read the last 2 sentences of my 1st post as often as you need to.

    I understand that “getting threats on the internet” is your daily dose of confirmative Whac-A-Mole, all the proof you need that you’re being victimised by the evils of the world and that your course is just.

    I understand that it’s tempting to use this one-fits-all placeholder as a replacement for actual arguments.

    I get that.

    But when I come here to FTB to enjoy my daily dose of mental car crash footage, I expect the bloggers, the people who get p.a.i.d. to write articles, to offer substantially more than stating “Kids were mean to me” and calling it a day.

    Many of the FTB bloggers have long given up and all they do is write 5 liners as articles or dig up rotten corpses from the internet graveyard, because otherwise, they wouldn’t have anything to say at all. F*ck them.

    Avicenna is among the few for whom not all hope is lost. If things go as expected, he will have the opportunity to become a more productive and helpful member of society than most of the other bloggers on FTB combined. And if he needs a little tough love to get his head adjusted, then that’s just fine.

    @readingcomprehensionyes #12
    Don’t worry. Even if I did, there will always be someone to pay for your food stamps.

  14. Holms says

    Here we go again!

    Read the last 2 sentences of my 1st post as often as you need to.
    I presume you mean the only two sentences of that post:
    “See how easy it is to give a proper argument when you’re being pushed ?
    Next time, I expect to overcome your laziness first, then write your article.”
    …which I quoted in my reply to you. I read it once then, and now I’ve read it once again. I pointed out that that post is just a classic troll climb-down without admitting that you have been refuted.

    Or maybe by ‘first post’ you didn’t mean ‘first post in this thread’ but rather ‘first post on this recent topc’. In which case, you are referring to:
    “If you really want to make a change, you’ll have demonstrate that the group would actually benefit from your proposals. Can you do that ?[sic]”
    …which, again, I quoted and addressed in my reply to you back then. If you disagree with my rebuttal (or Avicenna’s for that matter), you have yet to provide an argument as to why.

    I understand that “getting threats on the internet” is your daily dose of confirmative Whac-A-Mole, all the proof you need that you’re being victimised by the evils of the world and that your course[sic] is just.
    I don’t actually get threats on the internet, or elsewhere for that matter. Your assumption – apropos of nothing, apparently – is incorrect.

    I understand that it’s tempting to use this one-fits-all placeholder as a replacement for actual arguments.
    You are replying to a post of mine that made numerous arguments; you should probably specify which of them is a ‘one-fits-all placeholder’ replacement argument, and why.

    By which I mean, offer an actual rebuttal argument instead of simply ignoring everything I say.

    But when I come here to FTB to enjoy my daily dose of mental car crash footage…
    If you keep colliding headlong with text that you don’t understand / notice, it is your own fault.

    …I expect the bloggers, the people who get p.a.i.d. to write articles…
    …Paid? Paid? To write articles. You actually think that this blog is a job, with a salary and responsibilities, perhaps like a journalist for an informal newspaper. As opposed to… oh I don’t know, writing as a hobby and collecting traffic revenue in the order of a couple of dollars a day.

    Jesus Christ you are a moron.

    …to offer substantially more than stating “Kids were mean to me” and calling it a day.
    In fact, there was substantially more than that: 2545 words in 172 sentences. Maybe you should read them? You certainly haven’t refuted shit from it.

    Many of the FTB bloggers have long given up and all they do is write 5 liners as articles or dig up rotten corpses from the internet graveyard, because otherwise, they wouldn’t have anything to say at all.
    Those bloggers also tend to make many posts per day. Some people write a small summary here and link to the larger post hosted elsewhere. Others simply have a terse posting style, with a link to the original source.

    People have different writing styles.

    You appear to be implyng that good bloggers necessarily write long posts, but only an idiot (read: you) would consider word count to be the yardstick for post quality. Let’s take your replies to various threads here as an example: hundreds of words, and not a damn thing said.

    Also, I’m not sure why you of all people are arguing in favour of long posts, when it is evident that you struggle when it comes to reading them.

    And if he needs a little tough love to get his head adjusted, then that’s just fine.
    HAHAHAHAHAH OH MY GOD! You actually think that your vacuous posts are a tangible rebuke! You think that Avicenna is going to be all ‘oh shit I sure got told‘!

    LOL

  15. Kai says

    No, shit, it was they who were wrong and you who was right. They were the ones disrupting teamwork by being insulting for no reason.

  16. readingcomprehensionyes? says

    “I expect the bloggers, the people who get p.a.i.d. to write articles

    Avicenna is among the few for whom not all hope is lost

    And if he needs a little tough love to get his head adjusted, then that’s just fine.”

    Get a load of this pompous moron. You should probably quit your day job, actually, since you’re most likely grossly incompetent.

  17. Beaker says

    Schlumbumbi:
    “I expect the bloggers, the people who get p.a.i.d. to write articles”

    Man, you”re a whining idiot. You’re not paying the bloggers here, you have nothing to demand from them. Nobody is forcing you to read their articles either. And you definitely are not some blogging guru from whom they would benefit in any way if they would follow you advice. Probably quite the opposite, given your vacuous posts.

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