Features

Gamers Against Bigotry – Spread the Word!

Greetings, readers! As I’m sure you are already aware, the recent harassment of gamers who happen to be female, gay, trans, or otherwise marginalized has been in the news. The attacks on people such as Anita Sarkeesian, Jennifer Hepler, Felicia Day, and others have made headlines and painted our gaming culture as something really disgusting. Headlines and big names aside, the average gamer who doesn’t fit into the “normal” gamer box often faces verbal beatdowns in the games themselves. There are many people who don’t want to play these games for fear of  harassment, and there are others who don’t use voice chat in the game at all, hiding their true identity. Meanwhile, offensive words such as “rape,” or gay and racial slurs have become the norm.

So what can be done about this troubling trend? We know that not all gamers are assholes, but the assholes are the loudest. We can begin with ourselves, making a pledge to not use hurtful and bigoted language when we game. Such a pledge can be found at Gamers Against Bigotry. 

As a gamer, I realize I contribute to an incredibly diverse social network of gamers around the world, and that my actions have the ability to impact others. In effort to make a positive impact, and to create a community that is welcoming to all, I pledge to not use bigoted language while gaming, online and otherwise.

Bigoted language includes, but is not limited to, slurs based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.

I can hear what you’re saying already, dear readers. What’s a pledge really going to do to change the community? Not to worry! Gamers Against Bigotry has a plan.

Step 1: Gather Our Forces! Before we do anything, we have to amass a group of supporters to this cause – number to be reckoned with! The number of gamers who sign the pledge will show their support will give us an idea of the community sentiment.

Step 2: March On Developers! We tell developers we want concrete ways to deal with harassment and bigotry in games, and that the current muting/blocking/reporting systems aren’t working. Here’s a vid with examples of what will.

Step 3: Lock Up The Trolls! With better tools provided by game developers, we will be able to help shift gaming culture: providing incentives to those who deserve them, and taking away communication privileges from trolls who only use them to abuse.

Yes, we do value free speech. But the things that we say should still have consequences. They do in real life, and they should in our video game spaces as well. Head on over to Gamers Against Bigotry, sign the pledge, and lend your support. We deserve a great, fun gaming community where everyone is valued and welcome. Even the noobs.

 

About the author

Rebecca Veverka

A lifelong Cleveland, Ohio native, Rebecca is the second member of Word of the Nerd that likes to be called Bex. What are the chances? An Anglophile, science and history buff, and avid gamer (both video and tabletop), Bex also spends her free time crafting, illustrating, reading, and getting into amicable arguments with strangers on the internet. She has entirely too much free time. One of her greatest accomplishments is that she's only suffered one minor head injury in her lifetime.

6 Comments

Click here to post a comment
  • Nice article. I hope this gets around the interwebs. I can’t wait to see the reaction.

  • In this day and age, it is hard to believe that people still act like they do.

  • Hey Rebecca, thanks for the write up! I may just snag a big quote from this article and add it to the collection of press links on the site, if that’s okay with you.

    • Hey Sam! No problem, you’re doing a great thing and I want to see it succeed! Best of luck!

Advertisement

Check out our YouTube Channel

%d bloggers like this: