Once upon a time, in a basement far far away, was a group of pimply plumb children spending their Friday night preparing for a 5 people LAN. They are stocked up on Jolt cola and enough hot pockets to last them a thousand winters. Their adorable oily pubertal faces smile in glee about Jimmy getting a new graphic card that will boost his computer to smoothly run the graphics of windows 3.11. Oh, the joy and the innocence. They would game all night and well into the morning. That was unity, that was what I called a “community” of gaming enthusiasts.
One day Jenny joins in, of course the boys are in shock and confused. A girl? Wanting to play? She was welcomed with open arms. Not to mention that she is Jimmy’s sister, if he wouldn’t let her join in their play time their mom would ground him. So now their little community has grown to Jimmy, John,Jacob, Joshua, James and Jenny (bare with me, I have no imagination for names). Actually, scratch James, lets call him Zorro.
So we have Jimmy, John, Jacob, Joshua, Zorro and Jenny. All happily playing together, as it should be. The LAN’s kept going well into their early teens. One day John looks at Jimmy and realizes that he looks very attractive. Hiding his emotion while installing windows 98, he tries catching Jimmy’s attention. John eventually lets it all out, telling Jimmy how he would like to make sweet love to him. Jimmy being interested in girls, didn’t respond well to Johns feelings. His secret was now out and their little community still appreciate him the way he was, it’s about the gaming, not the sexuality after all. John decided to create a little community of his own for people with his preferences. Jimmy never understood why he wouldn’t just stick with the community as a whole, simply claiming that it was to much ignorance in the world and wanted to be sheltered from people who didn’t appreciate his sexuality. Saddened by watching their community shrink, they accepted his choice and gave John a wonderful goodbye, with enough jolt cola to keep him going for a while. Jimmy never understood what Johns sexual preference had to do with gaming, but supportive as a friend he is, he accepted Johns decision. Shortly after Jenny took notice that Zorro was more interested in her cleavage rather then her fragging skills. She didn’t think much off it, boys will be boys after all. She then realized that she could get Zorro to do whatever she wanted, which she found flattering and started to take advantage of the situation. Boobs=power.
She then realized that she could get even more by joining forces with other girls that play games. So she created her own little community for girls only. Her old friends were shunned and she started hiding with the slogan “girls are being harassed at gaming”. Jimmy looked at her with a sad look in his eyes, letting her know what he is harassed just as much as any person. He tried to tell her that some people are jerks, everyone rips on everyone, calling each other gay, noob, skank etc. She didn’t listen however and wanted to feel protected in her own little community where only girls are welcome.
That is what she did, Jimmy looked at his community getting smaller and dividing itself into sections.
Shortly after Jenny’s departure, Zorro decided he wanted to join a community that only contained Latinos and Hispanics. Again the community kept getting divided.
Then Jimmy lost Joshua to a trash talkers community. Jacob wasn’t allowed to hang with Jimmy anymore because of religious reasons and joined a community with people of “his own kind”. Jimmy never had anything against people who worship Spanish talking crickets, they are very entertaining after all with their little violins.
The childhood innocence was gone. The days where everyone of any sexual preferences, skin color, gender and religion could enjoy the passion that unites them, now has torn them apart.
Jimmy was now upset and alone, In an act of online desperation, he created a straight only community. Shortly after he did that, he received calls from John that he was segregating his kind. He received the same call from Jenny, Jacob and Joshua. He never got a call from Zorro because he forgot how communicate in English and back then there was no “español option” on the phone.
My point with this story is very simple. What used to unite us, our passion for gaming, is now dividing us. There are groups for everything. Hiding behind one simple reason, harassment.
Where is the harassment I ask?
We all get harassed online, some human beings are just plain jerks. That is still not an excuse to segregate yourself from people who share your passion.
No disrespect to anyone with various sexual preferences, race, religion or gender. But honestly, when you play games online, do you go around humping a player of the same gender? If a straight person tried to hit on me and pretend hump me in anyway and disrespect me as a female, I would be upset. I think it goes for all sexual preferences. You log into a game, to play the game. To meet new people who enjoy the world of gaming. Not to discuss sexual preferences, or shun anyone because of gender, religion or other various reasons. Some claim that they are the ones being shunned. I would believe that to be a good argument, if it wasn’t for the fact that I know from personal experience how this entire thing works. I’ve lost friends to communities where I wasn’t welcomed back in the days. All because one person uttered a very insensitive statement. I can almost compare to the world of comedy, when a comedian makes fun of a religion or a belief. As long as it is someone else then yours then it’s OK to joke and tease about. However as soon as it involves you, it is no longer acceptable.
How will we ever learn to accept each other and what we are all about when people are hiding in their little safe corners of the Internet?
I am a swede and I am yet to join an all Swede community. Why would I? Sure I don’t get to talk a lot with my people, but I do not need to.
If i do find the urge to hang with a bunch of Swedes, I can always look for a Swedish forum or call a Swedish friend. I would join a Swedish community but it wouldn’t be a gaming community.
I have friends of every gender, color, nationality, religion and sexuality (except bestiality people) and that is how it is supposed to be. We are united by our love for games. It is what brings us together. Everything else comes second. We learn, we grow by being exposed to these things. How will you battle adversity when you are hiding behind a big wall?
As long as the community keep dividing itself, it will always be the “us against them” attitude.
I am sure that a lot of people have found refuge in community site tailored towards their gender and their sexuality. But when you are stuck in an “us against them” mentality, you wont experience the real gaming world as it is. You take the good thing with the bad. That is how you spread awareness.
When there was great injustice, and captain America or wonder woman weren’t created yet, you only had one way to deal with problems. Face the beast, face your fear, face the one who you claim are shunning you. Why would just a few bad apples here and there scare you into shunning everyone that aren’t like you?
Lets say that I was being flirted with online. Would I look for a community with only married gamers? No, I would just not play with that certain human being anymore. We are instead spreading the word that you need to be protected from the community. That people will never accept you the way you are and only the ones in your community understand you, which is not the case.
I say stop hiding. There will always be humans that have poor online manners. There will be always be people who dislike you. but If they never get to meet you, how will you convince them to change their ways.
(BTW Homosexuals, running around trying to get an online date with people that are straight will never work. I am sorry to break the news, humping them with a sock will only make them angry)
(Ladies, it’s ok to be girly girl, but when you flirt and comment on how hot you look to boost your self esteem will only make the rest of us look pretty bad and we will never be taken seriously. Don’t expect them to take yourself seriously either for that matter)
(bestiality people, stop being so nasty!!! If you want to marry a chicken, buy a feather boa)
Once we are all divided into group, there will be no drama anymore, there will be nothing interesting to explore. Nothing new to be learned, because we will only be with people who think and are exactly like ourselves.
Hell is being stuck forever with your best friend.
I am going to create a community where only Anjo’ are welcome, because I feel that being an Anjo I never get understood or respected. No one understands when I do my regular Anjo stuff and Anjo them with my foot and then wonder why they don’t like being Anjoed.
It is revolution my friends, When the french couldn’t take the heat anymore from their so call aristocracy, what did they do? They faced the the mob and brought the evil doers to justice.
p.s I am not in anyway asking you to decapitate people who aren’t like you. I am just saying that it would be fun seeing a guillotine in action.
Either way. I have to say that I miss the days of old school gaming, where the community was whole and not divided. There will always be jerks, running from them will solve absolutely nothing. Putting TNT in their sandwich will.
Sex, religion, ethnicity, gender and bestiality has nothing to do with gaming, as long as we keep these things away then the community will be what it is, a GAMING COMMUNITY!
BTW….I think I’ll give Zorro a call.