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Reader Comments (95)

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 9:09PM Laephis said

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With regards to the posts by Existentialist:

Massively, could we knock it off with the censorship, please? As an adult, I prefer to make my own decisions as to whether or not I agree with someone's words and ideas, I do not need website editors deciding that for me. Thanks.
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Posted: Jul 14th 2010 9:07AM Soviet Shaman said

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I try to go for the confusion route for luls. I don't generally believe in sexuality, its just another label. I believe in people and soulmates. Gendered relationships are just a staple that society emphasize to drive a separation between humans and animals, and also ourselves. To bad we are animals with just a much more complicated brain {an extra layer}.

I've dated women and men. Never at the same time, I do believe in monogamy. It's what ever the heart desires.

"Are you gay" No
"Then straight" No
"Bi?" no

I'm me :D

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 9:44AM JustPlainJim said

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I've never been discriminated against in a game, aside from my current guild that doesn't seem to realize that we don't all come out of the womb knowing how to raid.

However, when my kid brother was playing City of Heroes (my account), he made a character that looked asian. Someone in the game started yelling at him, racial slurs were thrown about, etc. I would have passed it off as this guy role-playing a racist, but his spelling skills weren't that good.

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 9:55AM dustindeckard said

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Then maybe he really was just in character! [/joke]

Racism, sexism, and homophobia are usually cases of education, especially online. Yes, there's a culture behind griefing and being a shit-talker, but most of the time when you hear the 3-letter f-word, for example, it's just because the person yelling it is too stupid to realize that they're being horribly offensive. They probably don't have any gay friends or family (meaning: none of their gay friends or family have come out to them yet).
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Posted: Jul 14th 2010 9:50AM dustindeckard said

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Just like Ironix and others, I've dealt with a lot of homophobia in MMOs. Especially when I was still in middle and high school, playing FFXI and f2p games like Runescape. At a young age (before completely coming out), it's easy and therapeutic to be your "true self" in a game. I wasn't walking around /shouting about my sexuality, but it DOES come up. Just like Ironix said, if you spend a few dozen hours with a group of people, there's no way to hide your sexuality unless you eventually lie about it. So I've come out to guilds and online friends. A good chunk of the responses were hateful, but there really are some good people out there in MMO-land (as you all know).

Now that I've been out and proud and living my life the way I want to for a few years, dealing with homophobia in games doesn't get to me as much. I know how to deal with it, and I'm very, very familiar with that "Report Abuse" button. I believe that the friendliness and helpfulness and general feeling homeliness in an online world is directly related to how much work the GOOD people in that work do to maintain it. If you're a good person who sees some bad stuff going on in your own online home, don't put up with it! :)

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 9:50AM Faryon said

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Was pretty much shut out of guild conversations and stuff for a while back in vanilla WoW. It's not a good feeling when you throw out a legitimate question while 20+ people are online and noone answers. Learned my lesson though: Never again join a hardcore guild, they are toxic.

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 9:54AM (Unverified) said

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Only once...

It was back in the day when WoW was in its early days - a proper PvP zone had not been established so the fields between Tarren Mill and Southshore were still strewn with ganked bodies... Aaaahh fond memories.

Now occassionaly, just occassionaly I play a character which has the potential for a little more fun, RP-wise. e.g. Lotro burglar with and outrageous moustache

Well I had an alt on this WoW EU server called Baddass. Yes he was black, but he was also bald with a mint white goatie. He was Shaft mixed with a Paladin and lived up to his name as a real Baddass. Note I am white and clearly not a bad ass...

I remember asking some Swedish player for some advice, he returned with a racial slur in his own tongue. It felt pretty nasty being insulted not because of my skin but because of my *digital* skin, proving that one persons bigotted, short-sighted opinion of others can transcend RL and tarnish the game for others.

This said, I would de ... More

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 9:59AM dustindeckard said

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I understand that there is some need for caution and discretion with your personal details in games, but would you really want to be in a guild or kinship that wouldn't allow openly gay members? I'd rather them find out. No sense in someone wasting their time on bigots.
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Posted: Jul 14th 2010 10:33AM (Unverified) said

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I couldn't agree more. In a perfect world (and especially in a virtual world), it shouldn't matter if what colour your skin in or what you sexual preference it. The case above was actually between officer and the kinship leader which made it even more difficult and labourious than if they'd been mere minions, as it were.

I am just saying above that, like in real life, you should merely be careful. The last thing you want is RL encroaching on your game-space.

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Posted: Jul 14th 2010 3:33PM (Unverified) said

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I like you're story. That you ended it with *BLEEPED* kinda defeats the purpose though, lol. At the same time...it could have been brilliantly placed...
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Posted: Jul 15th 2010 5:09AM (Unverified) said

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Did I get bleeped? :o
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Posted: Jul 14th 2010 9:58AM (Unverified) said

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A couple years ago, it seemed like I caught a bunch of flak for being a girl who usually plays guy characters in every group I joined. There were insults, assumptions about my sexuality, and general sexist comments. Now, things have really calmed down, but it still confounds me. I'm a girl, I already know how boobs work because I have them, why would I want to stare at a scantily-clad avatar all day? If I'm role-playing, I would rather have badass armor than slutty armor. Duh.

The newer discrimination that really ticks me off is a form of character build discrimination. It happens to me a LOT in GW. Two things contribute to the problem: one of my characters is an elementalist, and I only own Prophecies &EotN. The reigning build for fire ele's for a while has involved elite skills that are only available in campaigns I don't own. As a consequence, I usually play air or water, and like to think I've gotten pretty good at it. When people question my build, I usually explain that I can switch to fire if they want, but I'm experienced at air/water and only have Prophecies. Usually, people understand. But increasingly, I get instantly kicked from groups. It happened twice in a row two days ago, in fact. It's getting really annoying that people's thinking has switched to the logic that ONLY the flavor of the month works as a build--which is just dumb. How do they think people ever discover new builds? I also think it's super lame that I'm being punished, in a way, for not shelling out the cash for the other campaigns.

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 10:02AM (Unverified) said

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"I'm a girl, I already know how boobs work because I have them, why would I want to stare at a scantily-clad avatar all day?"

Thankyou! I almost always used to play female characters. I mean I'm a bloke, I already know how boobs work because I stare at them, why wouldn't I want to stare at a scantily-clad avatar all day? XD

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Posted: Jul 14th 2010 10:41AM (Unverified) said

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Gear and Build discriimination is not a legend or myth, but very real and becoming more prevelant every day. Justin must be a lucky gamer if he's never come across this sort of discrimination. It's rampant in WoW's end game, heck, it's par for the course for any end game that focuses on raiding.
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Posted: Jul 14th 2010 1:22PM JustPlainJim said

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I'm like a lot of guys out there; I like to play female characters. Yes, I like the way they look, but my big reason is that I get sick of every blasted hero in every story being a big muscular guy as if having a Y chromosome is a prerequisite for saving the world. I've got a thing for strong women.
What I've noticed is that people will treat a female toon differently. I find it easier to get help from others, people are generally nicer in groups... And I find myself a lot less likely to get massacred by the opposing faction when I accidentally leave my PvP flag on.

As for your second story, I can totally feel for you. I'm currently in a high-end raiding guild in WoW where the members will openly bask anyone that isn't doing things the 'right way'. I think they just think that if it isn't 'optimal', then it's wrong. Thus, why my tank will never show off his DPS off-spec to them. I went fury and picked up Titan's Grip. I know it's been nerfed, but there's something that's just plain fun about slicing and dicing with two giant axes, optimal specs be damned.
That and my friend and I often go into battlegrounds. Working on PvP gear, getting recipes, getting gems for our gear; the honor is useful all around. But, my gear was optimized for PvE tanking. Even though I could hold my own in most raids, the guys in the PvP area were tearing me apart (verbally). One guy even going so far as to linking all of my gear in battleground chat so they could all laugh at me. Yes, I'm sure that was his reason because it was followed by a lot of 'lol's and a load of rather nasty comments thrown my way.
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Posted: Jul 14th 2010 10:15AM (Unverified) said

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EXACTLY. Thank you, Badger, someone who finally understands!!!! I've always assumed the only gender they were targeting with female avatars was men, anyway....

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 10:28AM Soviet Shaman said

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I'm a girl that plays guy characters, most of the time the guy toons are way more polished in animation and models vs barbie doll'd girl toons :/

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 10:47AM MrsAngelD said

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Discriminated against? Hmmmm I can't recall every being blatantly discriminated against, because of being female. But It does really bother me when somebody calls me, bro, sir, or dude and assumes because I'm on a female toon, I must be male, or I want something free. It's annoying and old.

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 10:52AM (Unverified) said

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To be honest, I worry much less about overt discrimination that's easy to call out and report -- slurs and such -- than I do about the unconscious discrimination that pervades our culture.

For example, if I were to use my real name in a forum, it would be obvious that I'm female. In my experience, that usually results in my words being taken less seriously than a male poster's would be. People are far more likely to ridicule or ignore words when they come from a female then they would the identical words coming from a male. People generally aren't being malicious or doing this on purpose by any means -- it's just the way our culture shapes our perceptions.

I remember reading about a study where a group of high-level symphony orchestras instituted a new way of doing auditions, in order to remove all prejudices not related to music that the judges may have had. The orchestras had the musicians audition behind a screen, so the judges couldn't see them as they played. The auditionees were identified to the judges only by numbers rather than names. Thus, the judges had no clue about the gender, race, ethnicity, age, etc. of the musician. Surprise, surprise, the proportion of women among the successful auditionees increased considerably.

So in MMOs, I almost always play male characters. This is easy and comfortable for me, since I don't identify personally with my characters -- to me, they're more like puppets or characters in a story I'm telling. In fact, it's more fun for me when they're nothing like me at all.

I find that when I play male characters, I get much less crap/unwanted attention. Also, when I play well, I get complimented and appreciated for it more often when I'm on one of my male characters than when I'm on a female one. When I play poorly, I get a lot less shit for it, and the shit I get is a lot less personal/nasty/gender specific than it is when I'm on a female character. Weird, since I tend to assume most female characters are being played by guys, but people still treat male and female toons differently.

I guess people assume anyone playing a male character MUST be male, whereas someone playing a female character MIGHT be female irl. Little do they realize how many of us women play males just so we can play in peace, lol.

And yeah, I absolutely hate the stupid "chainmail bikini" fantasy convention. I prefer my characters be wearing proper armor/clothing, thank you very much, so that pretty much forces me to play male characters. Plus, there's usually no option to choose a female avatar with normal proportions, lol. Huge silicon-looking balloon-titties just look stupid, imo, so that precludes most female toons for me.





Posted: Jul 14th 2010 11:42AM Lateris said

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I have seen it happened against Gays, and Jewish people. Now let me draw a line here. There is a difference between a joke which is fine and flat out hatred. I have seen the hatred part upfront. In SWG there was a neo natzi guild, and then they were banned because of their flat out hatred comments. End of story.

It is not about being PC. It is about being respectful.

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