The world of gaming can be a very bigoted one

/

Graphic by Alan Li

 

Games Done Quick is a semiannual charity stream where speedrunners (gamers who compete to finish games as quickly as possible), pool their esoteric talents across several days to collect donations for organizations, namely the Prevent Cancer Foundation and Doctors Without Borders.

Running steadily since 2010, the event has raised more than $15 million total for its organizations of choice. It has expanded over the years from its humble origins – filmed in the founding organizers living room – to the sponsored event hall that brings hundreds of runners and spectators on Twitch annually.

Beyond this, the altruistic event has become a bright spot for the gamer community to point to help dispel the common negative opinion that gaming culture is sheltered, selfish and inherently toxic to itself and others adjacent to it.

Here is an example of people who use gaming to an inherently noble and selfless end and who form a community around their shared idiosyncratic talents for beating games at ludicrous speeds. Where is the harm you may ask?

Two years ago saw one of the first trans “runners”, known as Protomagicalgirl, make an appearance on stream, running Super Mario Land, and in a completely unsurprising twist the gaming community once again let their toxicity out in full force.

The underlying theme of GDQ as an entity has been always about showing how gaming could be applied to a more public-spirited and unselfish end, and when you take up the archived videos comment section to spout ignorant hate-speech about gender, how are you not apart of the problem?

From spamming an insensitive emoticon of a bearded man in the Twitch chat whenever she was on the stream broadcast, to harassing her on Twitter, to levying libelous claims against her suggesting she was cheating, profiting, or bullying her way onto the schedule to fill a “diversity quota.” Even when they are helping the cause the typical gamer cannot contain their irrational bigoted hatred of trans people.

Not to say all gamers reacted this way, as the staff and attendees at the event in question were supportive of her brave visibility in this overbearing toxic atmosphere, even bringing the veteran streamer on in subsequent events as a host and interviewer. Yet, this struck a sour note for the event that resonated with the recently completed AGDQ 2018.

Gamers by and large have to begin to accept that their communities, no matter how tight-knit and protective, are behind the times if they still gate-keep against trans people, and no amount of money raised for charity can excuse that behaviour.

Gaming is a space where many of you found your identity, self-worth and a sense of community, and to prevent others from experiencing this based on their pronoun preference – even when they are working towards the same goals you are – is despicable and inexcusable.

The underlying theme of GDQ as an entity has been always about showing how gaming could be applied to a more public-spirited and unselfish end, and when you take up the archived videos comment section to spout ignorant hate-speech about gender, how are you not apart of the problem?

AGDQ 2018 saw multiple trans runners feeling comfortable enough to participate despite what occurred in 2016, so the projected reality is they will be a fixture of the community from now on.

By virtue of its content and demographics, the gaming community cannot help but breed toxicity in its ranks, but it shocks even more to learn that they just couldn’t help themselves – even when doing good for a change.

Beside bemoaning how “SJWS” and trans people are ruining their precious video games by existing and liking them too, they’ve pushed back against the expansion of GDQ because it no longer is a thing they can claim exclusivity over.

This is the attitude that needs to be abolished, plain and simple, in order for the ugly opinion most people have of gamers to dissipate. You cannot own video gaming, no matter how many bucks you raise for cancer prevention.


Leave a Reply

Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.