“You’re so Gay” – Toxic Gamer Culture

KSI Jessi focuses on the experiences of KSI members and documents the abuse of the word ‘gay’ in online rhetoric.

Did the title of this post make you raise your eyebrow?

Imagine being in a game lobby or Xbox Live party and that sentence been casually thrown around in conversation. Imagine being a gay male or female in that party how would you react and wouldn’t that infuriate you yet this sentence ‘you’re so gay’ has become so integral in some of our common vocabulary and we have become so desensitized to the implications of how it may make someone actually feel.

I myself have been in matches and Xbox live parties where people have casually thrown that around. A recent incident that occurred in an Xbox Live party involving some KSI members and a non-member revolved around a conversation where the non-member talked about how he would refer to players who act a certain way as being gay or acting gay, and was strongly justifying his actions as he deemed that as not a reference to someone sexuality but someone acting a certain way.

To me the implications of such behaviour being determined as ‘acting gay’ had heavy negative connotations as the word ‘gay’ was being referred to as a negative implication, thus deeming it as an insult or something bad.

Therefore, the idea of using that phrase becomes problematic and to me does not justify the use of it in any way. He then started to use the word ‘faggot’ to which he was then told to not use as KSI did not tolerate such language or behaviour.

I asked some KSI folks some questions regarding this issue and here is what I found

KSI Bandit 777 revealed how this is a common issue and happens on occasion whenever she meets people from other divisions or even in her work environment like customers or co-workers. She strongly believes that these remarks are ignorant and uneducated about homosexuality.

KSI BlutRoyale said  those who throw it around like it’s a joke need to realize that it does hurt. He tells us the LGBT community the younger generation already have a hard time and sometimes video games is a sense of escapism and KSI can be seen as a place of welcome and both enables a sense of peace from outside factors that may be going on in their lives.

KSIxLazeKush showed how he has been in numerous situation and he says he tries to stay calm most of the time but when a situation escalates to someone seeking to attack an individual or continued abuse becomes unacceptable and they are either asked to leave the party or kicked. One incident where a player was constantly going in and out or game chat and party chat using abusing language such as “fucking fag”,  upon further abuse he found  it was targeted at a specific player which was unacceptable and was removed from the party.

Just being more aware about these situations and standing up to them whether in game lobbies or parties and even if they are not targeted at you sets the standard as to it being not acceptable.

Sometimes in matchmaking when you play with randoms this is not something you an control but as a community if you find someone who casually throws these terms around feel confident in letting them know that this is not acceptable. As a community we do not discriminate and want to create a clean, fun and a sense of belonging that is open to everyone.

Let us know in the comments section below what you think about this and whether you’ve witness such behaviour and how you dealt with it!

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