Racism, the belief that one race is superior or inferior than another. It is the belief that a persons characteristics and abilities can be defined by the color of that persons skin. The act of racism is a very important subject to discuss as it opens us up to putting an end to this despicable part of humanity. The act itself has been used as a tool to insight fear and conflict among people in the past. It has fueled to some of man kinds lowest moments in history like wars and genocide.For a person like me that is native to a country that has strong multicultural backgrounds and celebrates all equally, it is hard to grasp how some other places in the world have some of the types of racism they do. Now my statement above is not to be taken out of context my country is not some fantasy land where everyone loves each other, because it still has it’s few racist ignorant fools who judge other people by the color of their skin too, but here it’s a bit more subtle than other places in the world and the people that act and think like that are very few and far between.
Now that we all have our grasp on the act of racism the thing I would like to discuss is, what is racism in gaming? We gamers are some of the most open minded people on this blue pebble in the void that is space, however no matter how cool we are some still can’t escape that basic human nature to objectify, find differences and ultimately discriminate against others because of their differences. In gaming sometimes it shows it’s ugly face in the form of sexism like women being judge simply because of their sex, other times it shows itself in the form of literal racism like a story that Ryu once told me about a guy that was attacked on a game chat because he spoke in his native language. All types of racism is bad, but the one I would like to focus on now is the type that makes gamers turn on gamer because of genre and brands. Lets call it Brandism . The love some of us grow towards a brand or type of genre is one that can sometimes never be replicated by any other aspect in ones life. For me the love of JRPGs is one that is burnt into my core and will be there till the day I kick the bucket and go to that great curry shop in the sky (don’t judge me, for me heaven must be a full of curry). Anywho there are those that let their passion blind them towards the fact that we are all individuals and the fact is that we may not share the same views as each other. In the most extreme cases this blindness can lead to a form of discrimination that is fundamentally not that different than racism.I have seen gamers get into a mad rage about simple things like whether COD is better than Battlefield to the point of name calling and in some cases violence. I generally dislike arguments and worst of all ones based on pointless reasons, so in cases like this I more often than not choose to walk away.
In some cases it is not that easy to just walk away. A good example is a case where someone else is being bullied by another person. I have been on the bad end of bulling in the past. It is not something that anyone should have to experience especially when they are gaming, a pass time that is suppose to be fun. I have chosen not walk away when I am around and able to do something to help another person being bullied no matter if it’s because of their skin color, preferred genre, religious beliefs, race, sex or choice in console. To some who did not grow up when gaming was not mainstream you may not know how gamers had to hide their passion or risk being ridiculed. That ridicule has made some of us tough to the point where there is nothing anyone can tell us about ourselves that will get an emotional result out of us. From my personal experiences I’ve reached a point in my life where I am emotionally secure about myself to the point that I won’t let anyone else’s views of me affect how I think of myself, but to kids who are more susceptible to pair pressure it’s a lot harder for them to over look. In some cases these kids don’t get tougher with the emotional abuse like I did and sometimes tragic outcomes happen.
So don’t be a gaming racist. don’t hate or discriminate against your fellow gamer because of what platform he/she plays on, don’t Objectify and abuse them because they are female, don’t say hurtful things because of the color of their skin or say what they play is crap because they play FIFA and you play PES. We are all gamers and the passion for video games should bring us closer not drive us apart. Ok I’m off to eat some curry now.
Some of the inspiration for this article came from: “Wow, I Didn’t Know Black Girls Play Video Games!”