Matticus has made a post about Player A, who had Player B temporarily banned for calling Player A a “fag”.
This brings up a very interesting issue that I wrestle with everyday playing this game. You see, I’m gay. And I’m not really shy about it. As a result, all of my friends on Bonechewer and some of my guildmates do know about me.
In an environment such as an MMO where you have an unfathomable number of people assembled in one place, words are sure to be thrown around. The words “gay” and “fag” are staples.
I’ve had my friends ask me, “Geoff, doesn’t it bother you when people call things gay or call someone a fag? When are you going to stop putting up with it?”
Well, to be completely honest, it does bother me when people throw the words gay and fag around. But what’s a guy to do? I certainly don’t have the energy to blow every single offense out of proportion—I’d never have any downtime.
What I usually do is turn the situation into a joke. I see the trivialization of whatever concern prompted the use of the word “gay” or “fag” in the first place to be satisfying enough. Observe:
Guildie: Such and such a thing is SO GAY.
Pookies: I doubt it.
Pookies: My boss and I fawning over that new guy in accounting, now THAT’S gay.
(True story, BTW.)
… or …
Guildie: Man, Player C is such a fag.
Pookies: In those boots? Bitch, please.
These kinds of responses usually prompt laughter from the rest of the guild and shut the original speaker down. Hey, sometimes he/she even laughs along. And while what was originally said still isn’t right and that issue will never be truly addressed, the situation doesn’t get any worse. Ideal? Hardly. Realistic? Yes.
The bottom line here is that people have a right to get upset. Player A had every God-damned right to call a GM. In fact, I think it’s hilarious that he did and I hope it put Player B in his place. But I hope Player A also realizes that, no matter how offended we get by the things other people say and do, we really have to choose what battles we fight and how we fight them, because our reactions also bear consequences of their own. If Player A felt strongly about this one, then more power to him. I really hope it was worth it.