Racist Trolls Are Still Dominating Video Games
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Racist Trolls Are Still Dominating Video Games

September 23, 2019

– [Manny] I’ve been playing
video games for a long time. And as long as they’ve
existed, the industry responsible for them has been
riddled with race issues. Whether it’s stereotypical portrayals or just the lack of diversity in general, games haven’t been too
welcoming for players of color. But worst of all, gaming online is a really toxic and racist environment. – [Gamer] Ni– (bleep) Ni —
(bleep) Big black ni — (bleep) Big black ni — (bleep)
Big black f — (bleep) ing fat ni — (bleep) black ni — (bleep) er. (urgent music) (typing) – In 2002, NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Matt Hasselbeck played each other in a game of NFL Fever. There was a twist, though. The two players were
thousands of miles apart. Microsoft used this event
to promote Xbox Live, an online gaming service
that allowed people to play and talk with each other without being in the same room. Enter middle school me,
who just got his hands on a copy of Halo 2. This was post- 9/11, so kids
with weird names like mine weren’t the most popular at school. To get away from some of the bullying at school, I turned to video games. So imagine how 12-year-old
me felt when I logged on to Xbox Live for the first time, and was almost immediately called the N-word. As I got older, the same
things kinda happened. People were still calling me the N-word, and saying racially
insensitive things to me. After a while, I just
kinda got used to it. It was normal, and it was
just something I had to deal with if I wanted
to play games online. It’s not just Xbox, PlayStation and Twitch have these issues, too. There are countless
examples of this online. – Gaming is not made for
women, people of color, right? It’s really not made
for marginalized bodies. – Kishonna Gray is the director of the Equity in Gaming lab at
Arizona State University. She published a study that
followed four black gamers and their experiences online. The players mentioned that
they experienced racism online a lot, and that they kind
of just got used to it. – (sigh) A lot of folks
have just normalized what happens to them in this space. Because I remember, like,
back in, like, 2007, 2009, or something like that,
you know, Microsoft had issued this press release that said racism’s not a problem
on their network, right? But they were solely relying
on the quantitative data, the number of complaints
that people would file, and because a lot of gamers
of color had normalized what was happening to them, they wouldn’t file the complaints, right? People don’t do it because in their mind, they think that nothing’s
gonna be done, they think that the stakeholder within the
space, Microsoft, Xbox, whoever, doesn’t care about that and
about what’s happening to them. – I’m not really playing
competitive games as much anymore, so I’m not talking to
as many people online. But I know that professional
gamers can’t really avoid it. Terrence Miller is a
professional Hearthstone player. He faced a very public display of racism during a tournament. A bunch of commentors in the Twitch chat were sending tons of racist messages directed towards Terrence. The chat moderators couldn’t keep up. How did that affect you,
just as a player in general? How did you feel when
you left the tournament and you knew that this happened? – I’m like, onscreen playing at the time, so I don’t really know what’s going on. I’m getting a bunch of
messages on Twitter and Discord and stuff like that, everyone’s
like, “All this stuff happened” like, “Are you okay?” Like… I know my mom saw it for sure, and she didn’t really understand
why they were like that at the time, and I just kinda
had to explain it to her. – At the tournaments, and at the events, can you talk about your experiences
there as a black person? Is it way different than it is online? – It’s definitely way
different than it is online. I’ve experienced no racism whatsoever. People are anonymous on the
internet, so like, they’re one way when you’re not around, and then when they know that you’re there, they’re more careful with what they say. – The fact that people act
wild behind a computer screen isn’t that surprising, but
is anonymity the driving factor behind the racism in online gaming? – Yeah, I think it is the
driver for racist comments, yes. So, in that piece, I talked
about this online disinhibition where when people get online,
they’ll say and do things that they normally wouldn’t
do in physical spaces, right? Which is just what Terrence
M described, right? He’s like, “Wait a minute,
y’all callin’ me the N-word online, you’re all here now,
you not sayin’ nothin’, right?” ‘Cause there can be real-life
repercussions, right? – So how do we solve this? Microsoft’s current strategy
is a reputation system. The more bad reports you get,
the worse your reputation is. If it gets bad enough,
you’re only allowed to play with people who have
similar bad reputations. But gaming companies
should have zero tolerance when it comes to racism. Racist players should
be permanently banned. That’s a no-brainer that provides immediate relief to players of color. But outside of banning players, I think there’s something that can
be done in the long run. It really comes down to diversity. Gaming companies should
be held responsible for changing the culture
of gaming as we know it. When companies discuss how
to fight racism online, are voices of color being included? And if so, are they being listened to? Here’s an example of how
diversity could help. – So I was banned because I asked a guy why he called me the N-word. All that they saw, all this algorithm saw was that I used the N-word and then I had to be ousted from the space. So think about, you
know, a lot of black men utilize the N-word in their
everyday speech practices and their everyday text practices, and then they get banned because they’ve used the N-word in these spaces. So, for instance, if I
was at the table with Xbox whenever they decided
this, I coulda told them black people are gonna get punished. Black people who might
use this in their everyday speech practices are gonna be the ones that get punished from this. So I get what you’re doing, but
you need to have more people at the table to help, to be a part of this decision-making process. – It’s not just diversity
in employment, either. Terrence says a showcasing
of diverse players could also help fight racism. – In the fighting game
community, there’s a lot of people of color, and I
feel like you don’t really get these kind of stories
coming from that game. – When I reached out to
Microsoft, they told me that keeping everyone safe
was a priority for them. That’s great to hear, but further
measures need to be taken. What happened to 12-year-old me should be an outlier and not the norm.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. So what? If you're short, people make fun of you for being short. Fat, tall, skinny, white, black, male, female. Get over! Grow up!

  2. People are racist online? Really?

    Wow. I thought games were meant for everyone, not just white males. Hm.

  3. Just reading these comments shows how divided our country is, and you can see in this video majority of the racist behaviors on online gaming is ignorant white kids, that have nothing better to do. Grow up, stop being key board warriors, grow up, this ain’t the 1800s or the 20s.

  4. Most of the people saying “just mute them” are ignoring the problem. The majority of them are probably white people who have never dealt with it. Yes muting them is always an option, but every time you get online and you’re constantly exposed to racially insensitive people, it makes you feel worthless, or like you don’t belong there.

  5. So its only racist if people of color at the recieving end of it ? Racist black, asian players arent a problem ? Gotcha Tech Insider…

  6. I got off Xbox live couple of years ago because of so many cocky white racist kids. It would make me so angry to hear their smug comments so I would play but put them on mute and not talk to anyone. Then I just canceled it cause I felt like I didn’t belong there. I don’t even let my young son get on it because of all of the racism. It’s just a cesspool of racism from my experience.

  7. This is how racism works
    1. Assuming
    If your 5ft tall and have light skin
    If your 4ft tall and get good grades
    If your black and skinny
    "Dirty" African
    If your Tan and religious
    "Fake Europeans" Native Americans

    Its never changed since and it's sad about the society that we live in

  8. I love black people, but people in general have to realize that gamechat is not all sunshine and rainbows

  9. Its ridiculous I have to state this before I give honest criticism of this video but; I am not racist.

    This video was poorly done for a multitude of reasons. My main contention though is that Its incredibly lazy, I feel as if you did little to no research on this subject and instead just listened to mainstream outlets and plastered it in this video. Also never use anecdotes, they arent relavant. Very annoying

  10. This loser is not a gamer. A gamer does not identify itself as a man, women or color of any race. They are the Apache attack helicopters of gaming and are the most oppress group of any minority. This normie need to kill himself how dare you mispronounce gamer’s gender roles!

  11. Honestly racist players should be banned but I don’t see why they should just block them or mute that’s why it’s an option

  12. Maybe you can stop being a sensitive little shit and just put up with the fact that you are the reason why people say these things. Because you make whole videos whining about it.

  13. That’s why as soon as a black video game company and console is created I’ll probably leave Xbox, PlayStation, and twitch forever honestly. I won’t be back.

  14. The gaming community is literally the worst one out there. Filled with toxic, racist, sexist all kinds of awful people that hide behind a screen and say a lot of shit they wouldn't irl. I cant imagine gaming as a minority honestly. The things people say behind a safe space of the screen really do suprise you sometimes.

    My suggestion? Quit gaming. Asap. Stop wasting your energy, money and most importantly TIME on stupid ass pixels that dont mean shit in the grand scheme of things. Take up actual interesting hobbies like music, reading, drawing etc. Do sports.

  15. We're don't want diversity or political correctness in our games. Black clothing brand fubu, for us by us. Most games are OUR fubu. If you play a game made by whites for white gamers,than it's by our rules. We don't want or need your driversity shoved in our games. We are allowed to have places for our own culture. No one is stoping you from making a black culture game for black people, I get annoyed when I hear you try to tell us what we can or can't do in our own spaces. A western culture person makes a game for western culture people, of you don't like it make your own game for your own people. Bottom line, keep your political correctness diversity and feminism Because I don't want it in my spaces, what you do with your space is your perogative!!!

  16. hey guess what fuckers i am woman so that means i now say playing Fortnite is a form of
    W H I T E
    S U P R E M A C Y

  17. Skin White 🔲
    Cranial Index Below 80🔲
    Nasal Index Below 50🔲
    Hair Blonde 🔲
    Eyes Blue 🔲
    Knuckles cracked 🔲

    Yeah, it's epic gaymer time

  18. White people are racist, have proven to be so for 500 years now. Get over it and stop expecting anything but the worst from them. People of colour who are still shocked (in 2019) by white people and their behaviour towards us, they are the problem. If you haven't caught on after 500 years of the same old shit, you deserve to be abused and brutalized. You deserve to be dominated by them because you absolutely REFUSE to view them as your enemy and your oppressor. So since you are relentless and unyielding in your absolutely unconditional love for them, you deserve every bit of racism and abuse that is hurled towards you. You people never learn. Most people of colour are born, live, and die with the absolute belief in their hearts that white people are really actually "good-hearted" and that it's "just a few bad apples among them." Well damn it… You're gonna learn the hard way!

  19. im not sure if you know this but you will meet people like this in your life ways to deal with trolls is to ignore them as only you can let them effect you

  20. This garbage ass video is toxic. That shit works both ways. I'm so tired of hearing people cry about this like white people dont get roasted all the time as well. I mean yeah no one likes a racist, but you make it seem like the whole world is against black folks, gtfo…

  21. There's no significant game development going on in sub-Saharan Africa. Whites and Asians dominate game creation. Its only fitting they dominate characters within games and also their audience.

  22. its so sad to because so many of them are so young and just spewing pure disguisting trash. i cant believe theres not a way for the police to track them down and charge them with a hate crime.

  23. Similar story to me in 2011 xbox live fun got some toxicity got a mic and dad told me its a game play to win and trash talk nobody gonna get hurt.

  24. That’s why I personally stopped using my mice when playing online because I always get stuff told to me for being Mexican and it gets annoying so I guess I just had gotten used to it and that’s not fair how it’s something we have to get used to because he other idiots just can’t learn and it sucks especially since I am a women and i’m not trying to get all feminist but I don’t only get told racist things but sexual things and it’s disturbing in both ways.

  25. I don't think it's the people that are genuinely racist, it's just that some people want to see a reaction from others and so they use offensive words to achieve that reaction.

  26. You do realize the first few seconds of this video, can be simply answered with muting the individual. It's not difficult. majority of online games have a mute feature. You can also report people. Also I've been called all manner of things online. And i'm white. So really this whole thing saying it's primarily a toxic place for players of color, you don't seem to realize humanity will always produce people who like to get under others skin by saying simple things like profanity and racist things. Because this video shows that you have no backbone and get offended by racist words, instead of simply cutting them off and muting them.

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