So, Apparently I’ve gone and thrown my whole “write-in” blog concept out the window at the moment. (Though I promise I have questions to answer for next week). Today I wanted to talk about Halo 4 and an interesting article I came across on Cheat Code Central (I wasn’t cheating, I swear).
First, though, I feel like I need to get this out there: I still haven’t purchased a copy of Halo 4 and my shame is deep, but my pockets are shallow.
Now, the main gist of the article is pretty awesome in my opinion: Halo is going to start dishing out life-time bans to anyone that uses sexist slurs in the multiplayer environment. Female gamers have been the target of adolescent boys and immature men for far too long, many of them to the point of never using voice-chat features or identifying themselves as a female.
Most of us recognize this as a problem, and a negative thing, so I’m not going to go on a rant about how it’s helping to propagate a sick and judgmental culture. What I find more interesting is the fact that homophobia and racism aren’t being addressed in the same way. The above mentioned article brings up this issue as well, but for some reason the Halo 4 creators chose not to. A part of this is certainly a result of the people in charge being women, but come on ladies – as a group of people facing so much oppression and hatred, why not recognize other groups in similar positions?
I don’t mean for this to belittle what the creators are doing, but it’s slightly baffling that this apparent oversight was made. Homophobia is just as rampant (if not worse) than sexism in multiplayer games, and on the internet in general. People (mostly males) toss out homophobic slurs non-stop, like little Gatling guns of hatred and contempt. And maybe racism is the less visible of all of these problems, but less visibility doesn’t equate to less of a problem.
I am a Geek, and I am proud, but it’s hard for me to take pride in a culture that allows such hatred to fester in it, like some long dead carcass in the stomach of the mighty Sarlacc. If we truly love the Geek world, we should stand up for it, not just for our own enjoyment, but for the enjoyment of all. Geek culture is not elitist. It’s not only for “certain people” – it’s for everyone that loves ANY of it. It doesn’t matter if that’s video games, comic books, roleplaying games, science fiction, fantasy, or all of it – if you love it, then you’re welcome here.
We can’t will away ignorance and hatred, but what we can do is ask Microsoft to think more about how they choose to handle their multiplayer forums. They could just as easily extend a life-time ban to anyone using homophobic and racist terms as well, and if you think that sounds like a good idea, here’s a link to provide feedback to Microsoft:
Some people will inevitably think this is going too far, and infringing on free speech, or their God-given right to shit-talk, and that’s fine, but my guess is that these people are probably white men, and let me think… what are all those terrible slurs for white men that people use every day? Oh, wait… there aren’t any.