Social Question

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Why does the gaming community contain a ton of homophobes?

Asked by rpm_pseud0name (8193points) March 29th, 2010

If you have ever played an online game for more than 3 seconds, you have most likely read a homophobic comment by a fellow gamer. Why are the gay slurs so easily used by gamers? Why are gay slurs their go-to words for insulting another gamer? I am a relaxed gamer. I don’t comment at all unless it’s for a game that was well played. No one needs to hear hateful comments when playing a game. Is it because I understand a concept that is lost on 99% of gamers… IT’S JUST A GAME!!!

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80 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

I don’t think they mean it in an offensive way. It’s just part of gaming lingo.

- or -

They can’t bear that they put the gay in gamers.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

People who don’t feel comfortable with irl society spend a lot of time gaming?

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Has it really become ‘gaming lingo’ ? That depresses me.

Bugabear's avatar

They aren’t. They’re just 12 years old. They dont know any better.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Because they’re afraid that your boy avatar will want to marry their boy avatar. They believe it to be sinful and cannot accept the thought of two boy avatars adopting a child avatar and raising it up to become a well balanced adult avatar.

That’s why.

Ivan's avatar

It doesn’t. It contains a bunch of very competitive individuals who find it humorous and/or advantageous to rile up the opposition. They are anonymous and know that they will suffer no consequences.

anartist's avatar

Aren’t those games all sort of macho? Does that answer the qustion?

Sarcasm's avatar

Where are you getting your data? from kiddies on Xbox playing MW2 and Halo 3? That’s about the only place I’d expect all the homophobic behavior to be.

I hear “that’s so gay!” every once in a while on voice chat for whatever games, but it’s not extremely prevalent.
Certainly a lot less than how much homophobia I hear if I listen to people talk on my college campus.

Disc2021's avatar

Being a pretty largely frowned upon sub-culture, the only thing I could think of is that it’s their way of expressing their own insecurities. That, on top of putting anyone behind a computer screen – you’re going to hear some pretty distasteful things.

I’m a game myself and I’ve even played MMORPG’s. I pretty much heard slurs across the board – not only slandering gays but everyone and not only in online games. Pretty much everything I’ve done online that offers interaction with others.

bobloblaw's avatar

There’s an old saying: “the smallest dogs bark the loudest.” I would chalk it up to a bunch of 12-year-olds making a bunch of noise. The only way they can bark is to question your heterosexuality as that is what they are the most insecure about. Also, consider this.

TexasDude's avatar

Trolls.

Also, the internet/xboxlive/everything else electronic is infested with idiots.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Neizvestnaya “People who don’t feel comfortable with irl society spend a lot of time gaming?”

Really? Wow.

plethora's avatar

Does this thread just attract only sympathetic homosexual sentiments? I object to being a called a (WHAT??) a homophobe? When the homosexuals get these cute little names like “gay”. I don’t use “gay” in the homosexual sense because I prefer to reserve it for its traditional use before the homosexuals clutched it to their bosoms. But if the homosexuals are going to clutch onto a cute little name, then I want a macho name to replace “homophobe”. How bout MAN. That’ll work!!

More likely @Ivan has it right. Anybody know any homosexuals in NASCAR. I’m not a fan, but seems to me there would be few if any there. Haven’t heard of any in pro baseball either, or the NFL. Could be wrong. But I haven’t heard of any. That’s because those are sports in which MEN compete.

Just my two cents…..to kind of balance out the sympathizers.

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LeotCol's avatar

I’m not homophobic, I’m comfortable with my sexuality and I am a gamer. I do sometimes use these gay slurs. I would like to apologise first for doing so.

I’m not sure why I use them (and think I’ll stop now that I think about it). I suppose its because everyone else uses them, and they’re really part of the lingo as @lilikoi mentioned above. Though there are many profanities used in the gaming world.

I think that the majority of people who say “gay” while gaming are generally using the word interchangeably with “stupid” or “crap”, rather than actually implying something to do with homosexual people.

Its rather unfortunate that the word has evolved that way. I hope that somebody creates a new word that is the go-to word for gamers.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@plethora Gaytona.com Site for nascar fans who are gay… Former NFL Player Esera Tuaolo comes out as gay (after leaving NFL). A quick google search finds these.

anartist's avatar

@plethora Anybody know any homosexuals in NASCAR. I’m not a fan, but seems to me there would be few if any there. Haven’t heard of any in pro baseball either, or the NFL. Could be wrong.
You are. [below from wikipedia]
Gerald “Jerry” Sanford Smith (July 19, 1943 – October 15, 1986) was a professional American football tight end for the National Football League’s Washington Redskins from 1965–1977.
Smith died of AIDS on October 15, 1986. He was the first former professional athlete to die of the disease. Although he acknowledged that he had AIDS, he never publicly acknowledged his homosexual activities. Smith’s sexuality was confirmed after his death by a former teammate, pro NFL football player David Kopay, who had come out of the closet years earlier.

davidbetterman's avatar

It’s always those tight ends you have to watch the closest.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@plethora Gay men aren’t men? What? You need a reality check, sweetheart.

Fenris's avatar

I know gay guys that are manlier than me.

@Sarcasm : any shooter, any MMO, a lot of RPGs, forums, and everything I’ve ever played except bejeweled.

@LeotCol : This. I’ve actually seen people try to disassociate the gay they use as a general frustration with homosexuality by spelling it ‘ghey’.

Some are young, dumb and amused by their own simple vulgarity, some are emotionally stunted, some are genuinely homophobic, and some have just heard it so many times they use it.

plethora's avatar

@anartist OK….so there are a few…thanks. Hopefully not many. Wouldnt get a lot of sympathy in those groups.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

When fluther removes my comment, why can’t they remove the entire thing, it’s annoying just seeing that I had a comment removed.

DarkScribe's avatar

I don’t believe that it does. I am not a gamer, but I do know many of them (the younger designers and writers employed in places where I have cause to work) and most are far more tolerant than the average male. As others have suggested, it seems to be a “lingua franca” of the gaming community, not a mindset.

Would you regard someone called another person a “pussy” to be a misogynist?

plethora's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Was looking for a word to replace homophobic. Note I spelled it MAN. Are homosexuals men? Sure. Manly men? No…..they, by their lifestyle are feminine men. Their minds work very much like the feminine mind, based on a study I saw recently and presented on TV to prove that homosexuals are born homosexuals. Their minds actually work, as measured by scientific measurements, like the feminine mind. Why do women find so many friends among homosexual men? Hey, mentally and emotionally they are birds of a feather.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

I don’t see a connection for pussy & woman hating.

DarkScribe's avatar

@rpmpseudonym I don’t see a connection for pussy & woman hating.

If calling someone queer for instance is homophobic, why isn’t calling someone a pussy, of if you wish, a girly, misogynistic. They are deliberately chosen words intended to offend, not to label.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Pussy is not an identifiable term for a person.

DarkScribe's avatar

@rpmpseudonym Pussy is not an identifiable term for a person.

You have never heard “Look at that wimp – what a pussy”? or similar?

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Yes. But take it out of the sentence. Pussy…. you don’t picture a person. The words gay, or queer, alone, are a term for a person.

davidbetterman's avatar

@rpmpseudonym Maybe for you kids, but some of us are old enough to remember when gay meant happy or joyous. And Pussy meant a little kitteh…And Queer meant counterfeit money…(as in Queer as a three dollar bill!)

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Listen, this little chat is clearly never going to stop, so lets agree to disagree & move onto other fluther questions.

DarkScribe's avatar

@rpmpseudonym Pussy…. you don’t picture a person

You do picture a person based on an epithet, others, including me, don’t.

OK. pedant mode on.

Go back to my alternative suggestion. Why isn’t calling someone a girl regarded as misogynistic if calling someone a faggot is homophobic?

The reality is often the people who use words like this in a deliberately offensive manner are NOT homophobic they are just uncouth. I am disagreeing with your initial suggestion that gamers are overly representative of homophobes.

plethora's avatar

@LeotCol I was way too lazy to look that up. Thanks for the legwork. Think I’ll avoid that site.

Fenris's avatar

@DarkScribe : thank you for reminding me of the word ‘uncouth’. It fits the subject to a T.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@LeotCol “I think that the majority of people who say “gay” while gaming are generally using the word interchangeably with “stupid” or “crap””

Close. But young boys are actually interchanging the word “gay” with “retarded”, as in “not quite right” or “that’s just wrong”.

DarkScribe's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies But young boys are actually interchanging the word “gay” with “retarded”, as in “not quite right”.

When I was young – pre-teen – the word gay WAS used to indicate” off with the fairies” or simpleminded. In those days it had no association with homosexuals. If you described someone as “a bit gay” you were saying that they were scatterbrained.

jerv's avatar

Must be either an online and/or generational thing. Back when I used to go to the local game shop for game nights (mostly Magic, though sometimes BattleTech) there were two gay guys and a lesbian there, and I think it safe to assume that they weren’t homophobes, and nobody else there seemed to care either.

Then again, I spent 5–½ years in a place where “bitch” was a gender-neutral term bordering on an affectionate nickname. Well, that and a favorite activity, but I was talking “bitch” as a noun.

augustlan's avatar

Does it matter if they aren’t actually homophobes, and are using the words interchangeably with “bad”, “stupid”, “retarded”, or “not quite right”? It’s still incredibly offensive. Perhaps even more so.

mammal's avatar

i’m going to take a wild stab in the dark here, but i’m guessing terms like fag are part of @plethora‘s idiom.

DarkScribe's avatar

@augustlan It’s still incredibly offensive. Perhaps even more so.

Yes it is, I certainly don’t approve of it and won’t accept it around me. My only concern was tying gamers to homophobia. Many gamers don’t use such language, they don’t need a reputation that they didn’t earn.

jerv's avatar

@mammal Just remember that asking for a fag in the UK means something completely different ;)

kheredia's avatar

I think it depends on what games you’re playing. Usually any of the shooter games will have more rude and sore losers. If you play games like Magic: the gathering, you’ll find a more intellectual, respectful crowd. My boyfriends gamer tag is in Spanish so he sometimes encounters some pretty racist idiots who think that the only place where they speak Spanish is in Mexico so they assume he is Mexican. The funny thing is, this tends to happen more when he is playing Modern warfare or gears of war.

jerv's avatar

@kheredia As if competing against people who stay at home, wear a diaper and hook up an IV drip full of caffeine and nutrients so they can play for days on end without sleep or anything didn’t make online gaming un-fun enough! Not only can I not compete because I have a life (wife, job, circadian rhythm…) but that sort of behavior only cements my feelings that head-to-head games should happen on a tabletop where you can at least smack someone for that sort of stuff.
If you want to play against me on a computer, bring your rig over for a LAN party or it ain’t happening :P

kheredia's avatar

@jerv Lol! I guess it’s easier to act like a jerk when you’re hiding behind a screen than when you are sitting directly in front of your opponent. But that’s the monster we created and it’s only going to get bigger and bigger. I’m not really fond of the the whole online gaming, believe me.

FutureMemory's avatar

@plethora <insert personal attack here>

plethora's avatar

@mammal @FutureMemory LOL…..ohhhhh. Now my feelings are being hurt. btw….have never used the word fag. It’s a nasty word. Nor, FYI, do I dislike guys of the homosexual persuasion (yes, just talking about the guys here). But I do kind of chafe at the idea of idolizing them. And I don’t like being called a homophobe. is that some kind of germ? Nor do I like the abduction of the word “gay” from the vocabulary, so that one cannot even use the word anymore in its traditional sense.

plethora's avatar

@phillis Just for you.

Blackberry's avatar

I think it’s because gamers are usually a younger and more immature and/or close-minded crowd, similar to some conservatives and republicans. I have been playing Modern Warfare Two for about 4 months and I have already heard my share of racial slurs as well.

plethora's avatar

@Blackberry Oh come on man. Conservatives and Republicans are people too. Just like Democrats and mentally deranged liberals…..with the exception of Pelosi of course.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@plethora – So you’re saying you don’t mind the homosexuals on Fluther, but you mind them elsewhere? In addition, on what planet do you live, where gay men are idolized? Come walk on our side of the fence, guy, and you’ll see how totally off-base you are.

Nor do I like the abduction of the word “gay” from the vocabulary, so that one cannot even use the word anymore in its traditional sense.

Well, like it or not, this is what happens with language, it evolves.

DarkScribe's avatar

@MissAnthrope Well, like it or not, this is what happens with language, it evolves.

Perhaps homosexuals distorted the meaning of “gay”, but look at what homophobes have distorted. Queer, pansy, fairy, camp, queen, dyke, butch etc.

Who has affected language the most – homosexuals or homophobes?

plethora's avatar

@MissAnthrope ummmm…..you talkin bout my comments or someone else’s?

So you’re saying you don’t mind the homosexuals on Fluther, but you mind them elsewhere?

Don’t think that came out of my mouth.

Bugabear's avatar

I think you’re all taking this too seriously. They’re just a bunch of prepubescent children with too much money and free time on their hands.

jerv's avatar

?!

Maybe they act that way, but most of the MMO players I know are in the 20–35 range, and more towards the upper end of that spread.

SeventhSense's avatar

I resent that this is even up for scrutiny. The term gay itself was hijacked by the homosexual community. It was always a synonym for happy. If anyone is responsible for its current incarnation it’s the gay community itself! The negative connotation has to do with how most heterosexual men view homosexuality. You’re not going to change that with a word. That will be what it is until people decide otherwise.
Every straight guy use these words and there’s no sentiment in them other than affectionate ribbing. If you’re gay you probably don’t hang out with these guys anyway. If you’re offended. Get in line with everyone on the planet who is offended about something or the other. If you start to try to stigmatize language you will only create an issue where none exists. Just ask George Carlin.

P.S- F You Mods. Jealous bitches.

augustlan's avatar

@SeventhSense No, every straight guy does not use those words. I think it may be a generational thing, though.

Bugabear's avatar

@jerv While playing MMOs I’ve never encountered a single person who’s said “Fag” or anything remotely similar to it. It’s only on Xbox Live and on COD 4–6 and Halo 3 that I’ve heard this.

Sarcasm's avatar

@SeventhSenseEvery straight guy use these words” Guess I’m not a straight guy.
In fact, out of all my gaming friends, the only one who consistently declares things to be “So gay!” is gay himself.

jrpowell's avatar

@SeventhSense :: Funny how you should sign off with “P.S- F You Mods. Jealous bitches.”
According to your very logic of the use of the word “fag” then Fuck you is actually a compliment.

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Neizvestnaya's avatar

@DrasticDreamer
Really, I don’t know and the tilde elludes me when on a laptop but my bf and I were discussing this further the other night (he lurves gaming) and we came up with the following:

More males than females are online gaming and a favorite passtime of males is to undermine one another’s heterosexuality.

Typing out “fag” or blurting out “fag” into a headset is only three letters (one handed on a keyboard) and one spoken syllable.

phillis's avatar

I thought you guys might find it interesting to know that, while Plethora is right regarding the general male attitude in the SE United States (I can’t speak of other parts of the country) toward homosexual men, it’s very different in other countries. My husband is Hispanic. Throughout central and south America, this is a non-issue. You never hear of violent crimes against gays by the general population.

In thier cultures, there is almost no reaction at all to homosexuality. Or to fat people. Or to the mentally ill. I have come to understand that it’s because they spend so much time trying to survive that they don’t really have time for bullshit. They do everything in packs for pragmatic reasons. They can’t really afford to marginalize each other into oblivion, or even separate themselves according to attitudes.

SeventhSense's avatar

@johnpowell
The alternative use of a term doesn’t necessarily imply that every term is also flexible although language often is. Of course with the word “fuck” it’s always interpretive. It has everything to do with intent. If I say fag or faggot one could use it in it’s slang intent. Faggot was originally a bundle of sticks. Fag was originally slang for a cigarette. As a homosexual slur among homosexuals it’s used like the word nigger is to blacks. It has everything to do with intent.
And as you so aptly pointed out there’s very few words in the English language with the versatility of the word fuck

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andrew's avatar

[Mod says]: While there is some interesting dialog going on, we’ve gone wayyyyy off topic (charged epithets in gaming). PM me if you wish to have a copy of your response for a different question.

phillis's avatar

Aw, damn. I completely forgot. Sorry for that.

SeventhSense's avatar

@andrew
I can understand the personal dialogue but many of the views challenged the premise either directly or indirectly. But rather than allow for opposing viewpoints you squelched them. So how does this foster open communication and discourse? And how are comment which challenges the premise called homophobia (which I find a faulty one) not on topic? This is not open communication but an unfair and imbalanced prejudice which will only foster further animosity. It’s lacking of character.

phillis's avatar

I think my comment might have been the one that acted as catalyst for the domino effect, @SeventhSense. I do agree with your assessment. By the time I post mine, I had strayed too far off topic. I’m sorry for that.

SeventhSense's avatar

To remove them all is just clear prejudice though.
It’s Politically Correct pandering.
I’m sure he has his rea$ons.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Enough, people. Please get back to the topic.

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