If you ever play any competitive online games, then you probably seen some nasty trash talk said against you in one way or another. Finally, now the general public and creators of these games are taking notice that some of these trash talking might be just hate speeches.
Associated Press Writer, Nicholas K. Geranios has apparently just discovered that people trash-talk in online games, which results into hate speeches.
While this issue has been present across gaming circles for a while, it has never made any real popular sources, that is until now. When Geranios found out was his son was being exposed to in terms of language, he was appalled. He heard gamers assuming others were Jewish and saying that they wished Hitler had succeeded in his mission. Now, while I do think that is overboard, I don’t think there is anything we can do about it. In American, there’s the freedom of speech. It’s the First Amendment. If people want to make racial slurs, they can make them. If you don’t like how they are talking, you can leave the server, or match, or whatever it is, and not play with them, or you can mute them, as nearly all services have that option, or you can ignore them if the verbal abuse is coming in textual form.
Another problem has been in the Gamertag itself, which provides a sort of mask that allows people to feel more powerful and leads more-so to the abusive things said and sent over online games, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on XBox Live. The XBL team actually disables accounts with Gamertags deemed inappropriate, or that suggest the sexuality of the person or even their sexual alignment or orientation.
Flynn DeMarco, founder of the Web site GayGamer, said “Personally, I don’t do a lot of online gaming for that reason,” when talking about the racist and other innappriate comments and slurs made during games.
My policy has always been to just ignore those people and mute them or find a new match or server. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, and the language used on these games are the same that can be heard in high school. Of course parents should be aware of what their children are seeing and hearing, but apart from that, I don’t think there should be a crusade against “inappropriate” comments made in online games. First off, there’s no point. Second off, it’s already a part of the culture, and many games and services would suffer huge hits if profanity wasn’t allowed in any way when playing. In short, don’t let 8 year old’s play 17+ games. Parent’s need to follow the ratings, and understand what “Gameplay experience may change during on-line play” really means.
You can even check out Microsoft’s Getgamesmart, which serves as a tool for parents to manage their kid’s video games.