One of the staples of mic enabled, online shooters, has always been some idiot either playing a song down his permanently open mic channel, or shouting obscenities and slurs at other players for a variety of reasons. We’ve all played with that guy, but rarely is much done about it. Well now BigotGamer.com is showcasing some of the these offenders, in a mixture of name and shame and a character study into what these players and the communities they inhabit are all about.
While trolling exists in a lot of games and there are caustic people in every walk of life, CoD does seem to have a penchant for attracting larger numbers of them. It’s also often the poster child for racism, sexism and homophobia in gaming communities, though of course, this could just be a problem that emerges when something is so popular – it’s going to attract assholes as well as nice guys.
But let’s take a look at some of BigotGamer’s evidence for ourselves. It probably goes without saying that these videos feature not safe for work (NSFW) language:
One point I do have to give the guy in the last clip credit for, is that language can have different meanings. I’m not sure his meaning isn’t that different from a racist’s, but hey, at least he’s trying to defend himself, the others don’t even bother.
What’s interesting here, is that the guy recording these clips does engage in smack talk, to the extent that some might accuse him of using similar – albeit far tamer – verbal jabs as his highlighted bigots. Maybe it’s a case of one man’s smack talk is another man’s racism?
The fact that he tells them he’s recording at times as well, suggests that these guys might have amped up their abuse, just because they felt like they had an audience and perhaps that’s part of the reason they speak like this in the first place: because they’re relatively anonymous and they have a platform to speak from. That and they have a lot of unresolved anger and need an outlet. CoD provides that to some extent, but clearly there’s something more at work here, as we’ve seen it with ‘pro-gamers’ as much as much as amateurs:
These guys aren’t quite as specifically awful with their choice of language, but the uncontrolled outbursts of angsty range just come off as embarrassing, much like those in the Bigot Gamer videos. So sure there are racists, homophobes and just generally not nice people on games like Call of Duty, but maybe what’s being witnessed here is more a bunch of people that could do with going outside, maybe going for a run and getting some energy out, rather than people that are so deeply bigoted they’d call someone a racial slur over the internet.
While the response from many people for these idiots is to simply mute them, and it’s great that there’s that option in these titles, many times that simple act just seems like hassle that shouldn’t be required. While some see that as just a necessary part of enjoying a game as popular as CoD, or LoL, others see it as a roadblock to fun and there should be as few of those as possible if a developer does its job right. And clearly no one has gotten it right yet, as there are many people that simply don’t play certain games anymore, or online multiplayer at all, because they can’t be bothered to deal with idiots.
KitGuru Says: What do you guys think? Are games like Call of Duty filled with racists? Or is it a combination of popularity, mixed with a younger average audience that plays these sorts of quick fix games because they need an outlet?
And ultimately, what’s the solution? Clearly these sorts of players shouldn’t be scaring off those that just want to have fun without needing a lesson in smack talk first.[Cheers Kotaku]