How Racism Is Ruining Online Gaming

How Racism Is Ruining Online Gaming

Gaming is a place that normally provides asylum to those who seek it. An escape if you will, just like sports, video games are a distraction or remedy that help people recover from the daily stresses of everyday life.  You get into the zone, and for that moment when you’re shooting zombies, rescuing the princess, or preparing for a raid you can forget about everything and take a lot of society’s harsh realities and tuck them into the back of your mind. Unfortunately, there are times when real- world situations or ideals follow you into the only refuge you have, and it’s usually when you enter the online gaming arena.

Now I am neither black nor white. What I am is a first generation American, with ancestry from the Dominican Republic. I don’t speak or carry myself any different from my friends whether they are White, Black, Asian or Hispanic like myself. Somehow though, as soon as I join an online game and I speak through my headset, my voice seems to set off a switch in all the other players’ minds. It seems as though, at that very moment my online tag transforms from “I NME I” and into “I (insert derogatory racial slur here) I.”  Many of the worst words you can use in real life are being thrown around online very nonchalant as if to say “hello” or “good game”. I am not exactly sure what triggers it because whether you’re winning or losing, your still subjected to it either way. You can sit there and try to say something in your own defense but more often then not the only option you really have is to leave the lobby your currently in. I can remember during the weeks leading up to the election of President Obama, playing Call of Duty 4 felt like the equivalent of attending a meeting of the Klu Klux Klan. It felt as though every single lobby I went to I was under constant verbal attack just for sounding a little different.

Here I am in real life preaching to all of my non-online gaming friends about how much fun online multiplayer games are and how they’re doing their respective console(s) a disservice by not signing on; meanwhile I’m an online target of hatred. Many people I’ve spoken with about jumping online say they don’t bother because of that same reason and the constant hatred being thrown around.

It’s really unfortunate because I feel that as great and epic as some single player games are in their own right; online community gaming is the future. Now I don’t consider myself a super liberal by any means, and even less a fan of monitoring and moderation but in this case I feel that in order for the game companies to be more successful and have online gaming reach a bigger audience, publishers and console makers alike need to step in to put protective measures in place. Both the Playstation Network and XBOX Live have a complaint system built in, but after filing complaints nothing ever happens.

So much effort goes into dropping the “ban-hammer” on cheaters who ruin the game for others, that same amount of effort needs to go into maintaining a safe haven for people who simply want to enjoy an online game without receiving constant racial epithets. Developers and publishers need to get more involved in maintaining an online community that lives in harmony by removing those that disrupt it. By doing this they’re just promoting further growth in the past time us gamers all love and share. By waiting around and doing nothing, that’s just one less person to buy their precious DLC.

64 responses to “How Racism Is Ruining Online Gaming”

  1. robert says:

    i agree i hear ppl cailing each other Niggers n BITC%ES.

  2. Kevin C says:

    I support the article, but @robert, really? They do that? No they don’t, lol. You tattle tale you. Rofl.

  3. lolwut says:

    Stfu nigger

    Seriously, you’re a crybaby. Quit whining about other people and play the game.

  4. Chris Pee says:

    Hey bully u dissappoint me.
    Threats?Racism? U promote nd do these things just bcuz u playing a VIDEOGAME?
    Wit sum other innocent black/asian/hispanic dudes?
    I mean COME ON!
    Its a videogame! Its meant to be fun!
    Obviously u gain fun in doin those things.I just hope ppl lyk u reduce in dis world.

  5. justin? says:

    joel, robert and kevin C dont pay to much attention to this is just friend talking.

    when a game is getting exiting we might not say “hey lovely mate would you kindly do your job and eliminate the enemy while i cover you”

    in stead we are going to scream “HEY NIGGA KILL THAT BICHT WHILE I COVER UR BICHTASS” we are not being racist we mean no harm we are just good sports and they know it. 🙂

  6. byaah says:

    I understand racism is unsettling, but in a goddamn video game? Come on. Do you seriously think that the person on the other end of the screen is a skinhead and enjoys lynching niggers and spics? a bully had a good point: they’re using anything possible to have a tactical advantage over you. So messing you up mentally is part of the multiplayer experience. If they really do mean those racist remarks, so what. Move on. Not everyone can hold hands in a circle singing while sharing milk and cookies. Grow up.

  7. meh! says:

    i really dont like british people thats pretty much it

  8. Mark says:

    How many articles are we gonna hear about this? Its called life, get used to it.

    Don’t wanna hear it? Turn off your mic or join a party chat with friends.

    Stop crying.

  9. Joel Taveras says:

    @ Dan

    What a breath of fresh air you are! I think you’re the only one that really understands what it is that I’m trying to get at.

    Thanks for the comment,
    Good Luck

  10. Kale says:

    I agree with your point. Despite your reference to the kkk, have you read cracker killa’s comment. Racism works both ways.

    Remember your dealing with hardcore mo-fo’s who will gladly pop a cap in your ass. Until you meet most of these guys in real life. Not as hard core as they think they are.

  11. Joel Taveras says:

    @ Kale

    Good Catch!
    I took it down!
    Works both ways!


  12. A Nigger Wit An Attitude says:

    For all the white folks that made comments how about you go to the hood and call a black person a NIGGER and see if you make it out alive!! I doubt it so treat da game da same way. Racial slurs are uncalled for our Generation should be beyond that. We aren’t segregated!! Nigger, Honky, Kike, Spic, slick back, chink, and any other racial term should be left alone. I’d put a cap in a white persons ass for calling me a Nigger point blank period Blood!!!

  13. A Nigger Wit An Attitude says:

    I Agree with everything you said. It makes me mad that a person of another race thinks that calling me a racial slur will help them win. Just plain dumb!! If we were playin ball in the streets or doing some type of activity where we are face to face I bet those racial slurs won’t be used. So why behind a TV!

  14. Jim says:

    WTH are people saying, racism is NEVER ok. Saying it is is ignorant beyond belief.

    You’re even more ignorant then the racists.

    Seriously, I can’t believe you are defending the racists! WTF!!!

    Go join the BNP or the white supremacists, maybe they have a gaming culture??

  15. Jim says:

    Oh almost forgot: to all the haters you are the biggest douche’s in the universe.

  16. Zerty says:

    I’ve been called a nigger multiple times, mostly by British players. I’d like to see a setting to not play with the UK, where most the racism stems, in my experience.

  17. Nig4life says:

    If you can’t take the heat stay out of the taco bell you smelly Beaner.

    Trash talk is one of the reasons ppl play online. When u talk trash u gotta back it up wit skill which makes it more exciting and rewardin when you blowndat honkeys face off.

  18. onslaught147 says:

    many ppl think this article is about trash talking, ITS NOT! its about racism, two VERY different things. go ahead and trash talk all you want, but why bring race into the matter, tats completely irrelevent. insult their skill but who cares about their race, if u bring tat up then u are racist pure and simple.

  19. roy vasey says:

    online gaming just gives some people with low self esteem the chance to feel big by attacking a vulnerable target – simple as

    its an embarassment, like the author says, how can we get people interested in online gaming with lowlife like this allowed to roam free.

  20. Chris Pee says:

    Yea roy,u tell em’.

  21. dylantalon says:

    i agree with the writer of this article. people are fooling themselves if they think it’s ok to throw racist epithets around like its’s a socially acceptable behavior .

  22. constitutionalist says:

    To all the big willy momo’s talking that racist jive, you probably stay at home with your mom with no children or responsibilities because if you did have these things like independence or responsibility you would know how detrimental racism is to all creed’s and color’s……. you racist!!!

  23. GDe Heeze says:

    Wow, do you want some cheese to go with that whine?

  24. redstar says:

    Big man with microphone hiding behind the internet.
    Just ignore these losers.
    They’re just angry because they can’t get laid or they are dealing with repressed homosexual desires.

  25. ClinicallyInsane says:

    i CANT STAND the Frenchies that play NHL online they bug the F out of me more than anyone with their constant yelling in French and loud techno music in the background. Go back to getting pwnd by the Germans

  26. John says:


    Imagine if people everywhere started to talk like this.

    Now, why do it in games?

    Theres no excuse for unpolitness or racist remarks. Just because it makes you feel good it doesnt mean its right,

    It means that if it makes you feel good, you are a freak. A white one i guess.

    Sociopatic freak. Now, go get a life and a shrink.

  27. ukfemalegamer says:

    I like how people have been saying that the uk to quote Zerty is ” where most the racism stems, in my experience. ” There is racism wherever you go because from my experience it comes from elsewhere so we would gladly be up for the option to only play within the UK. The only way to get racism or swearing out of gaming would be a blanket censor but then people will just come up with ways to get around it or spell words in ways to get through it and then you haven’t really solved anything. I would prefer there to be no swearing or racism within games but lets face it it’s here and until it’s “uncool” to do it it’s not going anywhere unfortunately. Decent people just have to grin and bare it while people who do so ruin it for the rest of us.

  28. whitestkiduknow says:

    Calling it “strategy” or “tactics” is just a sad excuse for blatant bigotry. So tell yourself whatever you need to, but if you stoop to that you are a racist and a loser. Get some real skills…

  29. xSaK says:

    LOL you guys are crazy. Anyways bullying and scaring your opponent is always funny to gain an advantage. But why racism? It doesn’t make you cool at all if you call someone the N word. It gets kind of annoying.

  30. JImmy says:

    Hey b lias, you are a homosexual.

  31. CasualRacistObserver says:

    I love how every single response that is supposedly from a “black person” reads like a script from some Sambo blackface stage play. Wait to fight those stereotypes!

  32. Scary says:

    @ Disgruntled gamer

    Dude what are you 5? Learn how to speak english because you make no sense what so ever. I do agree that the racial name calling needs to stop and maybe there should be a report system for such things. But like many I deal with it or better yet I sure do love that MUTE button. I just think game companies need to add this feature during a game and while in the lobby, not just during the game like INFINITY WARD!

  33. lady gigi says:

    Wow, these are some crazy postings. It is just sad, to be honest. If you ply online gaming anywhere else in the world, Asia and Europe of course you see cussing and trash talking but the majority of the racial slurs are sadly from Americans. What type of impression are we leaving behind, American ignorance at its best. These ignorant people that tolerate racism are the same ones that are wondering why our jobs are being sent to China or India or why the Mexicans are taking our jobs in the US. Stop the hatred and just game. And to the ignorant fool with the 1st amendment comment, express these racial slurs at work and see how long it takes
    you to get fired! .

  34. franwex says:

    Lady gigi made a good point: there’s trash talking all over the world, but the racial slurs are more common in america. Why? Mostly because americans are more sensitive to racial slurs than to regular trash talk. We really are trying to offend the person on the other end of the line. I suppose that not seeing the other person makes us forget courtesy. It also depends on the games that you play. I rarely spot any racial talk on Metal Gear Online, I guess the immature talk is where most teens play: Call of Duty 4 and Halo.

  35. bonk knob says:

    @ f niggers AND @ a nigger with an attitude… shut up your just proving your equally as dumb as eachother.

  36. somewhiteguywithanopinion says:

    Personally, I’m white, so I don’t take too much crap but its annoying when these people sign on just to insult people. Its bad enough with little kids screaming how they “waped me” in that game but I am really sick of hearing the N word through my earpiece. Why play games if your goal is to annoy/piss off everyone in the room?

  37. TOASTER MAN says:

    does anyone know where the door flies at sunset? I cant find the plate of dinosaurs so I made one. star wars sucks…PEACE OUT

  38. RavenWolfx says:

    there is a mute option for a reason.

  39. pink puma says:

    Disgruntled gamer, whoever you are sitting behind your computer, you need to stfu. I would rather read toastermans 1st comment rather than your many dumb ones.

  40. pink puma says:

    d gamer, your having fun with this. Wow you proved your a loser all on your own. I dont like your posts but at least YOU proved your a nerd. having fun with this… you nerd

  41. Bowser says:

    you stole my jacket

  42. tube tight says:

    anybody remember steve from blues clues? what happened 2 him

  43. pink puma says:

    great article Joel

  44. Mark says:

    Look at these black retards getting all upset, ROFL. You douchebags use the N-word more than the kids on XBL and have the nerve to call other people out? PULEEZE.

  45. Black Retard says:

    @ Mark.

    Go F*ck yourself and then your mother, and after that, one of your farm animals like you redneck racist white-power types do……Oh by the way, if history serves me, it was you white retards that made the N-word so popular, while you were lynching us and laughing about it, oh just like your doing now…….

  46. @ Black Retard says:

    ok seriously, I’m pretty sure, what you just said was one of the most racist things on this forum. Thats all your comment was, racist comment after comment. WTF. Honestly i dont care if someone calls me racist, i am at times but everyone that is upset about this, just get over it because racism is never going away.

  47. Black Retard says:

    @ damn

    You make a good point, but using racial slurs, no matter what race they are directed at, is not just simple sh*t talking when it offends others…..It all boils down to either you have young wannabe’s who dont know any better, or you have the true racist and morons, who are so insecure in they’re own lives,that the only way they can let out they’re own self-hate and fear, is to annonymously insult others via the internet and online gaming….And i can gurantee you, most of then wouldnt talk that ish in the face of those they insult…

  48. Jam says:

    Wow. Some of dudes leaving comments really have issues. It’s sad that in 2009 we still have people who hate people because of their skin color. People need to get off this nonsense. Get a life, stop generalizing and acting like someone else is the cause of all the problems in your life. Seriously.

  49. Black Retard says:

    @ whoever answered my “racist” post…

    So your saying none of the other comments before mine were racist??…Typical
    Racism is never going away, because of people like you who see nothing wrong with it….But thats typical of whites, because most whites enjoy the privelage they are born into just by virtue of being white without even realizing it….But hey, at least your honest and can admit your a racist……

  50. BLACKULA says:


  51. Black Retard says:

    @ Jam

    You are right….It is nonsense…..But its amazing how some of those who belong to the race that STARTED racism and racial hate in this country, always want to act like those whom they offend shouldnt be offended, or should just get over it, yet they are the ones that keep the hate alive and well…..Even in 2009.

  52. Black Retard says:

    @ A Realist

    Another history lesson….While you are correct that native americans are the indigenous peoples to america….White people were the INVADERS of america,and blacks were kidnapped contraband and brought to america to be used as forced labor…..Everyone else are the true immigrants……Otherwise you are absolutely correct!!!!

  53. Johnny says:

    Generally in Australia I have never heard this crap, i was playing v8supercars3 against all aussies, and everyone was polite and it felt like mates sitting on the couch having a laugh, so why the difference in America?

  54. @ oh noes says:

    That was probably the most well written message on this page. Now that I think about it, I don’t think that I’ve ever had any racial remarkds made toward me that were serious. I’ve heard other people talking online, saying the N words and other slurrs. Yes it is annoying, but I find that the best thing to do is to just turn the public microphone volume off and leave your friends free to talk. That way you are free to enjoy your game and you don’t have to hear people talk who’s IQ is equal to that of a zoo animal.

  55. Oh noes... says:

    Thank you. You are exactly right on the action that is needed when playing online. They gave us the “A-Hole” button for a reason.

  56. pd- says:

    I’m 36 and have been gaming online since the 300 baud days with BBS’. Back then posts (no live chat) were rarely unclean-it was a small and generally friendly community. Today, with a massive worldwide install base, this kind of nonsense is nearly unavoidable. It’s moved beyond the geek realm and into mainstream where every ounce of inner hatred is expelled, and there’s nothing you could ever say to stop it.

  57. Mark says:

    the name “black retard” fits you so well

  58. pd- says:

    One more thing…

    “Fu_k the mother-fu_king President!”
    -Disco Rick

  59. A Nigger Wit An Attitude says:

    I actually am wired wit Time Warner cable and da White kid who lives downstairs from me Steals my Web. I was in his crib helping him wit a game and we lost da connection because my Wife unplugged the router. When it came back on he told me that he had been stealing somebodies Wifi not knowing it was mine. I just raised his rent and let him continue to use my wifi. Oh! I forgot to mention I own Property! So stop with the stereotyping Idiots and grow up. I don’t own a Damn Laptop either I use my Palm Pre and Blackberry along with my PC. My wife owns a Laptop you spend more time at repair shops with those things. I love all races but some people just annoy me wit their racist remarks. White people and older folks as well as those who quote on quote want to be intellectual will neva understand the difference between “NIGGER” and “NIGGA” one is a word of hate while the other is a term of endearment that can only be used our small circle. I slip up and call my White friend Nigga all the time and have to apologize he nevers uses the word though because he understands that only Blacks and Hispanics are allow to use such terms. Bring on da mean words.

  60. Rob says:

    Being black I agree that the racism is annoying, but I don’t let it get to me. And as for the the n-word thing I’m not a big fan of it and I recommend to the people who think there is a difference between “nigga” and “nigger” to watch this vid.

  61. Al Zamora says:

    @ Rob – Nice youtube link, welcome to the site, more people should watch things like this. A powerful statement by this poet.

  62. David says:

    @A Nigger Wit An Attitude: So, you don’t like being called “Nigger,” yet you use the derogatory term “cracker?” You’re no different from the other people that use racist remarks.