Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Hidden behind a monitor

Watching Obama's inauguration today got me thinking about a lot of things, most of which had nothing to do with gaming, but it did lead me to think about racism in MMOs.

It's something I've seen in every MMO I've played and alas WAR has not proved to be the exception. It's strange that when you have someone hidden behind a monitor they consider it acceptable to be try and insult other people online with racial slurs. And nearly always in region chat to make sure they get as wide an audience as possible.. You can bet your arse they wouldn't shout it out on the street in real life. But thanks to the protection of their monitor, its all safe and well, worst they get is a ban from a game. If people said some of the crap I've seen online on the street here you would most likely get nicked and/or or a slap.

So far in WAR I've only seen this sort of crap once and thankfully the GM's responded quickly and got rid of them. I'm hoping that will be my only experience of this in WAR, because in WoW I saw racist nonsense far, far too often. Particularly against Jews, which considering the events that happened in Europe not that long ago, I find particularly disappointing to see on our servers. I used to think sometimes WoW needed footage of Belsen included in it's manual.

Is it a sad fact that racist twats are inescapable or is it just ignorant kids trying to show off? I dunno... but I just wish that part of the real world didn't make it into our online ones.

7 comments:

  1. I think the entire things pretty well summed up by.

    John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckward Theory
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/

    A sad fact is a certain casual racism pervades allot of society. Not a overt racism perhaps but a preparedness to blame others outside their own 'tribe' for problems.

    You may see this as a bit of overreaction but how often, as a destruction player do you here someone say something abusive about order players which if you heard someone say to you would be offensive?

    Its constant

    I mean yes technically we are at war with them
    BUT ITS JUST A GAME!

    More than anything else WaR reminds me allot of a team game such as football. Some people playing try and follow a set of ethics to play using good sportsmanship, others see any method which allows them to win as justified.

    A example of this i had 1st hand experience of and possibley you do to as another Karak-Hirn native,is later on the night of the inauguration i was taking part in a siege in KV on the northern keep. Now i was a bit slow inside due to the fact my aoe heals don't allow me to heal and move at same time, but apparently the lord was pulled away from his guards(this was about 2 warbands of destro vs 1 of order). After he died immediately some people started talking in region chat 'well it kinda bad that he was took down that way' others 'order have done the same to us'

    There is a tendency to see as deliberate cheating,exploiting, or underhand tactics that which if a member of our realm did people would praise as cunning and good tactics.

    Anyways im glad to read about others taking the time to engage with important things like this.

    MMOers are often perceived as a very insular bunch seeking escapism and anything which help disprove that stereotype is good.

    did my own little reaction to the speech feel free to pop by if your intrested
    http://printscreengg.blogspot.com/2009/01/importance-of-staying-connected.html

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  2. It's good to see people actually talking about this. I think we will all have seen it happen before, but have not seen it acknowledged often.

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  3. Aha. By saying "racist tw@t" you're being sexist - using a derogatory term for female anatomy as an insult.

    Derision, insults, and demagoguery seem to be an integral part of the internet thanks to the anonymity it affords.

    mm

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  4. Thanks for the comments folks :)

    @ mm
    Indeed, I should have said "racist twats and dicks", thus being balancing out my sexism. Of course I would then be harrangued by angry Richards ;)

    More seriously, in my defence I wouldn't necessarily compare my use of "twats" in a non-sexist manner, with purely racist comments. Twats really having lost its original meaning and being a relatively everyday word for fool/idiot/etc, at least in this part of the UK.

    I couldn't agree more with your second line though. The hate filled abuse we've seen aimed at Mythic's staff over the last few months for example.

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  5. @ scribbler

    We're totally on the same wave length mate. I've seen exactly those things too, it's amazing how easily we fall into tribes.

    Had a butchers at your blog, spot on sir. I really hope Obama's speech is backed up by action.

    Almost as much as I hope twisting auras gets sorted out :)

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  6. People have alot to be angry about at the moment IRL is getting pretty crap for alot of people.

    People often play MMO's to escape. I work part time as a librarian in the UK so my jobs reasonably secure. But i've seen more than a few friends have their hours cut back, or worse loose their jobs.

    The mob mentality is always at it strongest when people need someone or something to blame. The recent problems which have affected the world are of a type most people feel absolutely powerless to react to. Sadly i feel over the next few years this sort of thing will get worse.

    incidentally Tobold recently decided to disable anonymous comments
    http://tobolds.blogspot.com/2009/01/anonymous-commenting-disabled.html

    and after thinking about it ill prob do the same

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  7. Ahh... reminds me of a fantastic South Park scene...

    Eric: You f*cking jew!
    Mr. Garrison: Eric! Did you just say the F-word?
    Eric: Jew?

    I haven't seen racial slurs yet; personal bashing however... 'XX is an idiot'

    ReplyDelete

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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.