Consider yourself a rat: Homophobia on N4G.
Four days ago I submitted an article titled "The Fight to Get Gay in Video Games" (you can find it here: http://n4g.com/news/1465453... Submitting any sort of article is something I don't do very often. I also don't comment very much. One of the reasons I am a slack contributor is the rampant homophobia that needs addressing on this website. The reason I put up something so apparently "out there" was to get fodder. Consider you, as part of the N4G community, my (terribly biased) sample for my (terribly biased) social experiment.
Mass media effects, in a theoretical point of view, is understood to be less about what media do to us than it is about what we do with media. The moment any news item or opinion piece mentions the least bit of transgression, N4G users hive around it to mine their conservative short-sightedness. The media is not shoving something down your throat, it is giving you an opportunity to stand on your soapbox. Homophobic comments like this one from Hozi89 – "Please don't. I won't spend my money for gay games. I am straight" – go to show the insecurities of many posters here that are gratified by the oppression of anything considered "other."
"Other," by the way, includes anything that isn't male, heterosexual (yet not sexually active for any purpose other than child rearing), thin, white, middle-class, and Christian. You are othered from this community and many at large if you are fat, gay, black, latino, asian, or even hair-colored. Take note, because a gamer is also "other." A gamer is in their own marginalized group. Why? Because you don't abide social normality of leisure. Leisure of tradition is reading; reading latin.
We are all marginalized in some way or another. The reason media has to be progressive is in the hopes that someday, most people of this world won't have to feel labeled by language, but rather feel incorporated into it. You may think that your idea about "gay is wrong" is equally valid, but really you are just trying to defend the heteronormative ideal that, for centuries, has killed, persecuted, and enslaved humans that have no defense against their "poorer genetics," (according to you).
Some of the terrible comments on "The Fight to Get Gay in Video Games" are as follows:
DoggyBiscuit: "I dont mean to sound homophopic but why us gamers gotta cater to gays what ya expecting a game based on Unicorns and Rainbows"
Conan-O-Brady: "All part of the gay agenda first proposed by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. This is just the beginning. If you don't like it prepare to be labeled homophobes."
starscream01: "I'm so sick of hearing about gay issues all the time......I think it's wrong. If you're a homo fine but don't expect sympathy from me. I have the right to feel it's wrong.The media tends to push gay rights too much.whats next pedophile rights? It's u natural and sick. Some people argue gayness is found in nature....so is parents of certain animals eating their own young make in that argument invalid."
Wheelman_Vince84: "What is world coming to? this is too much! it's bad enough that christian ran companies are getting sued because they don't believe in same-sex marriages so they won't make them a wedding cake at a cake shop or a get flowers from a flower shop, so they end up filing a lawsuit against that company because of their religious beliefs because of hate speech? BS! it's not hate speech! they have they're rights to say yes or no to things just like the next person. So they're going to target video game companies to sue next because there's no gay ppl in video games? this is waaaaaaay out of control! game companies better get ready for the lawsuits because they're arming themselves with attorneys! i don't have a problem with gays, but this just needs to stop, and it won't at this point!"
PSNintyGamer: "Why is the media always trying to shove Gay down our throats?"
This is sick. I hope that some of you can reflect on the comments you wrote or read. In fairness, though, I want to hi light some surprisingly thoughtful or respectably defensive comments:
DarkLord1003: "This thread shows what's wrong with the gaming community. You're a bunch of whiney young male hypocrites who have no problem jerking off to lesbian porn. But as soon as two male would kiss you somehow feel threatened and scared. And what exactly is the gay agenda? It's the most ridicilous thing I've ever heard. You guys live in a dream world - in a bubble absolutely unaware of the real world and the problems people in it are fighting every day."
ElementX: "You can't compare the relationship of two consenting adults to an illegal relationship with a minor. There is a huge difference. Same with animals eating their young, there a difference between attraction and what you decide to consume. Everybody should have equal rights for employment, housing, marriage, etc. These are social rights that other groups have. I can't believe you even mentioned those two examples, they are completely irrelevant."
These comments, in and of themselves, are not eloquent. They aren't utopian or perfect in their argument (neither am I), but they are in the right direction. They have grounding, understanding, and empathy.
There's already some good conversation going on, that's exactly the reason for this blog.