Why Are There Still So Many Racist Trolls In Online Gaming?
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Why Are There Still So Many Racist Trolls In Online Gaming?

November 7, 2019

– [Narrator] 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. Lol. I'm black and i've been gaming for at least 12 years, long before anyone of black color even cared about this subject (at least that I know of). Get over it, they're just words. One day you'll realize the hopelessness and the words won't phase you anymore, so let it go.

  2. Notice how 1 word can destroy them? You're the ones that give the word power. Just get over it and you'll realise a word is a word and people use it. Get over it.

  3. The thing people get wrong about racism is that nowadays, racism isnt what it means anymore. There are thousands of communities dedicated to racism, and im not talking about the kkk… Im talking about the common gamer or internet enthusiast. If you search deep enough, there are many different people in the millions who find racism as their "go to" humor. There are people from 4chan, to reddit, all the way to youtube that want to troll you, to get a reaction out of you. The philosophy is that the n word, is just a word that weve been specifically told not to say that for obvious reasons. The fact of the matter is, is that people still think they live in times of slavery and oppression. These online gamers and trolls are not committing any crimes against race. They arent lynching or practicing kkk ideals as their hobbies. It's an inside joke to be the most specific, and I would understand because ive been a part of that community for a very long time. You have to learn that calling someone the n word is a shocking thing to say and thats what the kind of humor entails. It isnt just racism, its also abortion jokes, murder jokes, or just about anything horrific you could think of in the mix. All i can say to end this, is that dont take these slurs and "jokes" that seriously. These people arent trying to actually demonize and hurt you, they are just insulting and trying to get a reaction out of you because they can, and it's censoriously, ambiguously, and reprehensibly funny. Most of the time it's rambunctious humor, and if you get offended by it, then I dont know what to tell you. You have to learn to distinguish actual racism which is very little, versus satirical racism which is a joke, and it has been for many years on tv.

  4. "just ignore them" "if you can't handle it, then don't play" "it's just the way internet is" "this video is dumb, unsubscribed" "A mute button exists and you should keep your personal stuff to yourself." And the list goes on and on… I want to say that the fact that something is wrong, you know it, but is the "usual thing" doesn't mean that you should ignore it and let other people mistreat others and be mean or disrespectful. I don't think there's any need in calling people names for "fun" because you're behind a screen and you think there are no consequences and others won't feel bad about themselves, not everybody has a strong mentality and I don't think it's fair to say that if you can't handle people being A**HOLES you shouldn't play, I think the A**HOLES that don't know how to respect others either online or in the real world are the ones that shouldn't be allowed to play. Just keep up the good vibes and let others enjoy the game too.

  5. Bro. Its a damn video game. You sound like the embodiment of buzzfeed itself. Video games aren't racist. They portray black people ad gangsters because you usually only see black people as gangsters. Yes, there's white gangsters too, but many less than black. Its just facts man. Video games aren't racist, and people are gonna be jerks. Face reality or get knocked down by it because of ignorance.

  6. People of colour and women aren't 'marginalized in gaming'…
    Oh and operative word: *Trolls*. People trying to get a reaction. Anyway, I personally have mever seen this – not saying that I agree.

  7. an interesting video, while not typical of insider, it's a topic that isn't often acknowledged. All the dumbasses in the comments saying ignore it have probably never experienced racism in their lives, if they think it's that easy. Mute or don't play they say, because I guess people of color don't deserve to just have a normal gaming experience without being called racial slurs. But honestly what am I expecting from idiotic youtube comments written by idiots and ignorant assholes

  8. Dude, it's the real world. you can't change it. Some people are shit. you can't change them. Just ignore them and live your life.

  9. Grow a pair of balls. Everybody gets "harassed" in videogames, if that is the biggest problem you have right now, you need to get a life.

  10. Hispanic girl gamer here… I fear voice chat because I get so much hate for being both hispanic and a girl… I risk my SR on OW because of not joining team chat or saying anything. I legit fear team chat I shouldn't have to fear anything from a GAME it's meant to be fun but people have ruin it for me.

  11. Because like Goku said “Name calling is your only attack because you’re to weak to challenge me ANY other way” lol

  12. I'm black and life has been awesome since I stopped trying to find a way to be a victim. Mute or talk shit. It doesn't take a rocket scientist. And get some strong male role models, this shit is embarrassing.

  13. Well, I guess this kind of thing is intense too at America eh ?

    Greetings from the SEA toxic commmunity

  14. People who joke everytime there's black people and talk too much about being with black people and making so much stereotypes are so immature.
    Geez, get a hold of yourselves, just play the fuckin game you idiots.

  15. wherever you are there are toxic people . I quit reddit for that reason, being called names because you made a mistake, because you're black, or your belief is hard to take. I was recommended to reddit by a friend because I had a few story building ideas that he said I could share. I remember saying the wrong thing about a comic that I hadn't finished yet and then getting nasty comments because of it. I hated it that I took down everything and deleted my account. When people are convinced they can get away with abuse because other people can't see them, they will take advantage of it. I admire how some continue doing what they do despite the toxicity they go through.

  16. Naw people need to grow up and deal with it.

    Its not any companies responsibility or game makers.

    It's the person who responds that's the problem.

    Stop responding. Stop talking back to them. Stop trying to figure them out.

    Block them, mute them, leave the game.

    Its your fault it keeps happening.

  17. Make your own videos with black romans, black greeks gods and black mozarts. Just don't wait till BBC do all the work.

  18. I guarantee those guys are not happy. Take the high road, and meet that hate with the understanding of their suffering. The more hate you get from someone – the more that person is miserable and suffering!

  19. Cause they are bunch of mother fuckers with no manners , I hv no idea who gave them the idea that they are death proof ?
    Even the game provides aren't supporting or investigate about these issues ?

  20. What if I told you that everyone gets rage/trolled on games, and it's hilarious. Either laugh it off or use the mute button. It's much easier than all the effort put into this video.

  21. As an extreme COD player, I know how this feels. I may not be black or a woman, but I still think this is disgusting.

  22. Gaming community is toxic? People who say these have never played a broad genre of games outside of MOBA and first person shooters….

  23. please help me report this racist user who thinks all the black people look like Obama. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zpC50a3abE

  24. 1. You could just "Mute" them online, it's not that hard.
    2. Insider please don't turn into SJW trash like Vox or Buzzfeed.

  25. For me …. To counter racist i usualy ask myself this ' Does different race differ you being human ' .so yeah feel a bit open about it

  26. Trolls on-line are brave because they can hide behind their computers or smart phones. It's the anonymity.

  27. Excuse me if i make some mistakes, i'm french. I don't understand how people knows your skin color behind a micro ??

  28. they do it cuz they know it pissed some ppl off . then those ppl make a big deal about it and let everyone know whats happening and then more ppl hear about it and start doing it and then the cycle begins a new. just ignore them and and they will go away . they just want attention and you're feeding it to them by making videos about it and bringing it to light. anyone who has played online gaming knows they are there . no need to tell ppl about it .

  29. I totally agree with all of this, racism is too common in the world and it should stop. Many people have committed suicide because of that and on the other screen they are just happy that they are hurting people

  30. The sad thing about it is, there are so many insensitive people out there (especially online) that you don't see the normal human-beings out there that see people as people. The world is so corrupt and it goes for all of the different races and ethnicities out there. No matter where you come from there is always some inhumane person out there that hates you just because you are from a certain place or look a certain way. it's not just black and it's not just white. Its everyone. and it's pathetic that people can't function without being so mean to one another. We live in a corrupt world.

  31. Video: racism is bad
    Commenters: “LMAO looks like the sjws are at it again!”

    “That’s mY OPINION!!”

    “Ugh I’m so tired of reverse racism when will it end :(((“

  32. Just create a Chat only for Black People etc. you could make allot of money with it. Keep the races sepperated online. In Rl they understand each other but white and black guys hate each other in Reality

  33. I know people say "don't get offended" but shouldn't the blame lie on the people who are in the wrong. If someone was bullied in school, would you expect the teachers to say "grow a pair of balls"

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