Jan 15, 2014

A Gay Man's X-Box Live Woes & Playstation Network Musings


Youre knee deep in the practice mode of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. Youve been grinding your favorite character all morning, trying to perfect his or her style of play, when you get a request for an online match.  You shriek with excitement, as you can finally test the combinations and strategies youve been practicing all day.


Round one: You Win
Round two: You Lose
Round three: You Win
K.O!

ULTRA COMBO FINISH flashes across your screen!! As you celebrate the success of your match-up, you receive a message.  Its voice clip:

YOU FUCKING FAGGOT! I HOPE SOME COPS
STOP AND FRISK YOU,
THEN RAPE YOU AND YOUR
FAMILY. GET FUCKED.

*Comment Reported/User Blocked*

This is a day in the life of many gaymers, like myself.  
The same homophobia that permeates general society, has slowly but surely found its way into what use to be a safe haven.  For years, Gaymers have dived into beautiful backdrops, vivid storylines, and complex characters, finding a source of solace and amazement.  Today, many have strayed away from competitive gameplay and online features, due to bullying, harassment, and being barraged with obscene content.

Some contend that inflammatory comments made online arent really hate speech, as a perpetrator cannot really tell if his or her victim is gay, bi, or otherwise.  Perhaps, there is some validity to this argument [albeit minuscule]; however, being surrounded by content like the previously mentioned creates a terrible experience for Gay participants, regardless of the intent.  They say, "Hey, Gay person, your not worth the skin your in.  Why? Because it situates anyone not Heterosexual as the other, as something undesirable.  And, society has certainly done a very good job at showing us what it does to undesirables. 

Remember when we emphasized being a good competitor and having a sense of sportsmanship? Has the communal part of the gaming community completely disintegrated? Whatever is happening, we really need to get back to having fun and creating relationships.  Isnt that what being a Gamer is all about, anyway?
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