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The Transfer of Stereotypes and Prejudice

Another player comments on how video game culture and anonymity culminate in MMORPGs to create an atmosphere of homophobia.

Really the only negative aspects in games to me, other than game play/system/developer issues, has been the atmosphere of homophobia. As a gay man it seems the computer and computer game cultures fosters a sense of hatred towards homosexuals. From the casual use of the term gay as a common put down to a handful of nasty instances of harassment by griefers and even discrimination from game companies that caused me to cancel their service. [CoH, M, 31]

Others comment on how cultural identities and stereotypes have impacted their game-play experience.

I'm an American living in Japan, and because of the time zone differences, my husband and I belong to a big Asian guild in EQ. As a result, I've experienced some really nasty, prejudiced reactions from people who see my guild tag and assume I can't speak English. There are a lot of very negative attitudes about Asian guilds in English-speaking countries--most of them based simply on stereotypes and ignorance. Participating on EQ message boards and communities, I have often ended up very embarrassed at how rude and thoughtless Americans can be. It's a terrible feeling when you see someone from your country say that all Asians are 'faggy slant-eyed wankers,' for example. [EQ, F, 35]

In FFXI there was this "uber leet" syndrome the majority of the Japanese players had. Where they considered every American as a noob, because Japanese had been playing FFXI for a year and Americans just got it. Now in general, that's somewhat true, most of the Americans(Non-Japanese) are noobs, but the few of us who weren't were still being discriminated against for being American.

In FFXI They even helped the Japanese find out whose American and who is not. When it first came out, the translator translated things from Japanese to English, or vice versa, without any notice that someone was using the translator, but then they added a patch that put brackets around the translated words, so they could tell if your American (Using Translator). I respect and like the Japanese Culture, but that game felt like it was trying to make me be racist or something. It pissed me off to have to wait 2+ hours just to try getting into an xp team because the majority of the Japanese didn't want to team with Americans. [excerpted from an FFXI forum]

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Posted on January 11, 2005 | Comments (24) | TrackBack (2)

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