The Internet And Online PC Gaming: A Double-Edged Sword

I love the internet in so many ways. The internet allows me to connect with people across the world through my blog, Facebook, Twitter etc. It allows me to join communities that I wouldn’t ever be able to access without it.

I’ve recently taken a dive back into online gaming. I’ve played games online since I was about 15 and always been very aware that there are some arse wipes in the online community. So when I hit 17 or so, I stopped playing competitive games online. I played single player games and co-operative games where there was a lot less random abuse being thrown around.

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There are also a lot of Harambe jokes about Winston! Pahahaha

At 25 I finally dove back into the competitive online gaming scene through Overwatch. It’s a brilliantly addictive game and I’m beginning to think that I’ve become obsessed with it. It features a diverse cast of characters from around the world and most of the voice actors are native speakers of the languages that the characters speak. When I’m not playing the game, I watch streams online of other people playing, I watch videos on YouTube of people playing the game and then try to emulate what they’re doing whenever I play (I’m notoriously bad at video games so I need all the help I can get).

One thing I was completely not prepared for was how horrible and disgusting people can be and how seriously people take something that’s supposed to be for fun. I’m not talking about the pros, of course. If that’s their job, by all means take it seriously.

If you’re just playing for fun, you get a whole heap of abuse and anger thrown your way. Even when you’re not playing in the games hyper serious “Competitive” mode. Some of the insults are pretty nasty. Some are a little less intense, the “you suck” and “you’re really bad at this game” are not constructive but also not particularly offensive. The others though, fuck me…

I was playing a game recently on a map called Lijiang Tower which is based in China and within seconds, people start making racist comments about the Chinese, the culture, their “slitty eyes”, the classic “HERRO” and lots more. Of course, I called them out and mentioned that I’m Chinese and they’re being pretty shitty. Their response was “do you eat dogs though?”. My response was obviously a “no” to which they responded “well then you’re not a real chink are you?”. In 2017…

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It’s not all bad, there’s the occasional fake proposal too. 

This is the tip of the iceberg too. God forbid you’re a woman and you play the game. The number of rape comments, “why aren’t you making me a sandwich” comments, and “fake female gamer” comments is unreal but ultimately extremely common. First of all, and most simply, how can someone be a fake gamer? If they’re playing the game they’re a fucking gamer. Why do so many men think that playing video games is/should be a solely male past time. Secondly every time I stand up for someone mid game, you can be sure that I get abuse too but mine is nothing compared to the women I speak up for. Even when they’re insulting me, it’s still directed very much at the women. Thirdly, you know the insults will fly thick and fast if the women are just better at the game. Holy crap, some of the men who play this game have such fragile egos that losing to a woman at a video game results in them hurling abuse at them. Finally, NOTHING, anyone does warrants threats of rape or murder. Stop it you disgusting pieces of human shaped shit.

Sadly, this isn’t something exclusive to the realms of online gaming. It’s the whole internet. Reddit is a pretty horrendous place sometimes. Again, I use it to read creepy stories, discuss PC parts, learn how to play the Pokémon card game and learn about science, technology and the world. But some of the most offensive, horrific memes are posted there too.

The internet is a powerful tool for good if used in the right way. It’s also a place where cowards, racists, sexists and straight up stains on society can hide behind a veil of anonymity and speak their horrific, twisted views. The internet makes people brave which isn’t always a good thing.

But the main thing is, I’m sorry to all POC and women who have to put up with this kind of shit. I’ll always do my best to speak up and help. I hope that other people who read this will do the same. And to all you racist, sexist, xenophobic pieces of shit who abuse people in video games and online, just shut your mouth. You’re ruining a great thing for everyone and you’re making yourself look like an absolute fool.

A

Note: All this aside, I also often come across really lovely people. I started chatting to someone on the opposite team who was playing the same character as me and me and the opposite team just hit it off and were having a little fun while playing the game by skating around on walls etc with Lucio. One person on my team got very very angry though and started hurling abuse at me at which point, the other team pointed out I was the only one doing anything of use on my team and to calm down as it’s only a game. I still game with them today.

Hostile Takeover to Hospitable Communities: Thank You!

So, as I’m sure you’re aware, this year we had a referendum on whether or not the UK should stay a member of the EU. Sadly, we as a nation, decided to leave the EU. In the wake of that, racist, religious and homophobic attacks (physical and verbal) has increased drastically.

One group who have taken a lot of the brunt of this has been the Muslim community. They’ve been taking shit from people for years and years and have always responded with respect, dignity and love, even to those who are cruel and abusive to them. I have always loved and admired the Muslim community for how unconditionally caring they are and tried to help raise awareness about and demystify Islam with the help of some friends. You can read about that here.

Time and time again, they’ve shown me compassion, love and friendship when I need it most and when I’m, quite frankly, a terrible friend. And it’s not just me either. (Side note: I shouldn’t have to say this, but that doesn’t mean my other friends from other faiths aren’t equally as nice.)

Recently, some friends of mine took over my Facebook and posted that I’d converted to Islam. And while that wasn’t true, it did, once again show just how wonderful the Muslim community is.

While lots of my friends thought this was true, I had loads of calls from my Muslim friends. Every single one of them was so happy to hear that I had converted to Islam. I had to disappoint them all one by one but the love and acceptance they showed me while they thought it was true was incredible. They offered me help, invited me to their mosques, invited me for food and offered to teach me about Islam. They welcomed me into their community with no questions, no judgments and with positivity and love.

Even when I did my Fast for a Friend thing, one of my friends bought me dinner for iftar all the way from Bury. I was invited by so many of my friends’ friends to iftar at their houses. They were willing to welcome a complete stranger who wasn’t even Muslim, to eat with them and pray with them and learn with them during Ramadan. I even got a few tweets from SuperSaf showing support (one of my favourite tech YouTubers).

I am constantly blown away by the Muslim community and their welcoming nature. I really hope that you can experience Islam the way I have, from an outside perspective but with the same love that I’ve seen.

Do NOT let mainstream media and pieces of shit horrible people like Trump convince you that Islam is evil. The greatest threat to the world isn’t Islam. It’s horrible, closed minded, racist, religiously discriminatory people. They’re the greatest threat to the world.

I’m so grateful to my Muslim friends. You all teach me how to be a better person and I do not know what I’d do without you all. I’m going to try to spread as much joy and goodness as all of you. Thank you!

A

“Not Really Such Thing As Racism, Just Opinion”

I can’t believe I’m saying this but “Not really such a thing as racism, just opinion” is a thing that an actual human being said on my Facebook. Racism doesn’t exist apparently. We’re all being super sensitive, we’re weak minded and we’re pathetic people for bitching and moaning about being treated differently.

I made a couple of posts recently about how certain races are represented in mainstream media on my Facebook and one on my blog here. I am by no means an expert on race. All I know is that it’s pretty obvious when people are being belittled, ridiculed and made to look like lesser human beings. Sometimes it’s outright disrespect. Other times it’s veiled as a political piece. The shitstorm on my personal Facebook started when I posted about how angry I was about this particular piece of news racist bullshit. The same person who denied that racism exists said that just after having said “I was hoping you were Asian and Black so that we would have two reasons to discriminate against you”.

If you really want to watch it, I’ll oblige. I warn you though. It’s garbage. It’s not news.

All you have to do is look at the comments on the video to see that it’s offended people but there are somehow also a shit ton of people who for some reason feel the need to defend this shit. If the people this is about are offended, take a fucking hint. It’s fucking disgusting.

Of course, somehow racists found their way to my Facebook post (even though I don’t know any of them) and started mouthing off that I was being overly sensitive and a whiny, weak-minded bitch. Apparently, we’d all be better off if we’d (people of colour [POC]) stop being such pathetic excuses for human beings. POC have spent hundreds of years being raped, murdered and having their land, resources and cultures stolen and are STILL having to prove themselves to not be inferior. This isn’t just about Chinese people either, Black people across the world, Latinx people, Hispanic people, people from the Middle East, East Asians, the native people of countries like America and Australia. This kind of shit happens to all of us and it’s not okay. We won’t be the quiet subservient POC that you expect us to be.

My original post was this:

Karate is Japanese, they went to a martial arts centre with a south Korean flag (amongst others, but not Chinese), Mr Miyagi isn’t Chinese, this American dude is a piece of shit. Respect to the last guy. He knew what was going on. Fox news and Watters/Oreilly are saying it was all in good fun. How about I take the piss out of American stereotypes. They’re fat, white, racist scumbags who murder and incarcerate thousands of black people every year and think they’re better than everyone else. Not nice is it? Fuck it, it’s all in good fun.

There are tons of other things I could list about that video that are very obviously racist. I won’t bother though. We’d be here for days. After all the comments on Facebook from random ALL WHITE Americans, my friends and I tried to inform them with logic, facts, statistics and literal dictionary definitions and some times even tried to appeal to their sense of empathy. Well played, Alex. Empathy? These people? No chance. They also told me words don’t matter. Walk up to a Black person and call them the N word. See if it matters then. People get brave on the internet, in person, I highly doubt they’d be so willing to say the kind of shit they said to us last night.

However, I do want to say thank you to all of my friends, of all races and ethnicities, who argued back with these random racists, who have shown support on my statuses following the incident, and have sent me messages, texts, calls etc. to make sure that I’m not too upset and have sent me real message of support. POC can speak for themselves but my friends and allies from white communities help so much by helping to tackle ignorance and hatred in their communities. I appreciate you all and I’m proud to know you all.

One friend asked me if I’m on some sort of racist watchlist. I have no idea if I am, but if my speaking up about race is getting me on racist watchlists, I must be doing something right eh?

Racism is real and is a serious problem that is literally killing POC. Don’t forget it, don’t let it happen, don’t stay quiet.

A

P.S. I fully expect some racists to come on here and comment and bitch and moan too. You will be blocked, your comments deleted and your existence forgotten.