Top
770°

Online Racism on XBOX and Playstation Network

Eye of the Potato:
"I was recently invited to a party in a Gears game, only to immediately be asked by the team members if I was black. I left the match, but something stuck with me afterward.

They weren’t hiding the racism."

Read Full Story >>
eyeofthepotato.com
Oculus Quest Giveaway! Click Here to Enter
The story is too old to be commented.
Joni-Ice3020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

When I had my 360 I would experience it on Halo. On my PS3 I recently experienced it on KZ3. The whole clan in the lobby was racist. By the way, Good Read.

Dart893020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

Best to just report them in the time iv'e played KZ3 i have reported at least 15 people for racism.

Here's a great example of racism.

Highlife3020d ago

That was just sad. If that was my kid there would be hell to pay! If that is going to be the next gen of kids damn this world is screwed. Thank god for the mute button!

AllyOmega3020d ago

:O

If I were her parent... I would probably die of shock before I could think of a suitable punishment. And they're just sitting there laughing...

This is what happens when we grow up in a society full of apathy.

darthv723020d ago

but never to the point of shouting racial remarks or insulting comments.

Generally speaking, I am mad at myself for getting owned. It isnt the other guys fault I suck so why take it out on him.

DanSolo3020d ago Show
craigfeel3020d ago

And people still be saying that racism don't exsist. Thats sad.

Elwenil3020d ago

Racism is a complete waste of time and life. Pity that many people can't see something so simple.

frostypants3020d ago

Every generation thinks the next generation is gonna screw everything up. It's how it's always been. Society will be fine. All that's happening these days is that ignorant morons now have the ability to voice their true opinion anonymously, but people like them have ALWAYS been there. They just didn't have such a public outlet to express their ignorance until recently.

DanSolo3020d ago Show
Anon19743020d ago

As a community though, gamers have to take responsibility as well. Racism and homophobia is rampant online simply because as gamers we more or less tolerate it. If every single one of us, when faced with this kind of activity online, verbally confronted the abusers, let them know what they're doing isn't cool and let them know they were being reported (then reported them) we wouldn't stamp out the problem, but it would go a long way towards minimizing the problem. It's because we tolerate it that it flourishes.

Report features are there for a reason. Let's use them.

I think it's a cultural problem as well. I don't know why it is, but the majority of the time I've faced racism online it's been perpetrated by people in the US. I even came across a COD4 match before on the PSN where a group of Brits were protesting the overuse of the n-word in the match while the Americans defended their right to use racial slurs because "they live around more blacks".

I'm not saying all Americans are racists - that's obviously not the case, I'm just saying when you see someone online spouting racism - check where he's from. In my experience, every time I've done that, it's been an American - without fail.

starchild3020d ago

If that little annoying girl is so racist why is she hanging out with black people in the room? Why don't they tell her to shut up?

The little girl is probably going to be embarrassed by her behavior when she gets older. But I doubt she said anything she said due to racism.

KDubyah3020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

I have a friend who is mildly racist, but we live in a all white town.
Has a one year girl .. I just hope to hell he doesn't raise her to be racist.

I can't understand why people are so damn stupid, though. It's ridiculous.

@darkride66 - Well, just cause someone doesn't use the n word..
Doesn't mean that they aren't racist. I've had Brits do the same.
They weren't using the n word, but were making other racial slurs.
Mostly slurs against Americans, as a whole, and not an individual race.

JohnnyBadfinger3019d ago

@KDubyah
America is not a race... saying 1 country is better than another is not racist.

There is also a huge line between truth and racism...How many true racists do you know? i'm guessing none... most people including myself do it as of a way letting off steam, and use it more of a way of directing anger not hate towards someone of a particular background.

I dont have a problem with any skin toned individual... i judge them by their character and personality... I have Arab mates, Black mates, Asian mates and European mates. And yet i dislike all the cultures they came from.

Bottom line racism in gaming is really only used as trolling, in an attempt to get a reaction outta a certain individual

DragonKnight3019d ago

Lemme tell you, if that kid was my daughter, after talking like that she'd be too afraid to ever talk again.

Racism is not something you're born with, it's something you're taught. And that little girl is being taught to hate. Racism is a waste of time because we're all the same race, human.

But that little girl needs a parental head smack. Lol.

Parents are too lenient these days. I'm only 27 and I already feel old when I see kids like this because I know I could say "If I ever talked like that when I was a kid, I'd be a mute today." lol.

AAACE53019d ago

That's one of the reasons I love that mute button! I think I was in a game and heard that little muthaf***a before!

The thing I realized is that the racist people have a pitiful life and make themselves feel better by making other people mad.

I had this one retarded bastard shout racist comments and even flashed a glock at the screen saying he was gonna kill me! Then the idiot tried to record me and play it off like I was attacking him for no reason!

Bear_Grylls3019d ago

Microsoft should implement voice recon software that issues debit points when you "sin", "sin" to much and you get banned from Live for 24 hours. Get banned again and it's 48 hours.

Something like this we can only dream about as it will never happen.

But it would be so great..

NegativeCreepWA3019d ago (Edited 3019d ago )

I get tired of hearing the word N**** of other word and guess what it's not white people saying it over and over. I never resort to racism but if don't want white people to call you it, don't use the word yourselves. Oh yeah, I cant stand people that speak Ebonics but thats not racism, it's discrimination. I do discriminate.
I don't care what color you are, if you speak Ebonics your getting muted.

Edit: Are the French considered a race? If so I guess I am racist because from my experiences with them online has made me really not like them at all.

WhitePolish3019d ago (Edited 3019d ago )

Article about me :)
CoD +18 Kids can go and play lego batman

lowcarb3019d ago

@ negative creep:

So now it's a black persons fault for changing the meaning of a word created to degrade himself? I agree the n word is stupid but how are you going to pretty much say if they say it they deserve it or the meanings are the same? That in itself sounds racist. Now of course you didn't say those words but I'm reading between the lines. Honestly you sound like someone out of a white (not saying you are)hate group. You sound like the typical arrogant American who thinks his sh!t doesn't stink.

pixelsword3019d ago (Edited 3019d ago )

I usually just talk about their penis size; you'd be surprised how a little thing like that (no pun intended... yeah, it was!) would upset a little bigot. And calling a girl the C-word (rhymes with punt) usually shuts them up.

3019d ago
X-DominusRebellis-X3019d ago (Edited 3019d ago )

@ NegativeCreep,

I agree with you. The majority of people playing online who use the N word are Black people from my experience. It's such a bullshit double standard. They apparently hate the N word when someone who isn't Black says it, but they can say it all they want and it doesn't mean anything? Then when some kid comes along and says it, s/he's automatically racist? The N word is nothing more than a derogatory name to call someone, just like Honkey, Chink, Nipper, Whitebread, etc and I hear those words a lot more than I hear the N word.

On a side note: I would backhand that 7 year old bitch in the video for spewing out such hatred and poison if she was my kid. Like go play dolls or something...bitch!

pixelsword3019d ago (Edited 3019d ago )

@X-DominusRebellis-X

"...Honkey, Chink, Nipper, Whitebread, etc and I hear those words a lot more than I hear the N word."

Wow, what kind of games do you play that you hear those words more than the N-word? I've never heard any of words online in any game as of yet except the "CxxxK" word up there when some American was trying to badmouth some guy from Japan for no good reason (just saw his tag was from Japan and started ranting), but I hear the N-word more than enough to know it's the word that's said the most. Not to say that they haven't been said, but I haven't heard it myself.

And no, not everyone who uses the N-word is automatically racist, but the usage of the word is. If I have to explain that to anyone, they're not really understanding how the word is being used to be an insult. It's like calling your friend a "fuxxer" when you're playing around but if someone outside of your group of friends do the same thing, you're going to think that person's a jerk for insulting you.

Or another example is how I have Italian friends and they use words like "dago", "terra" or "terroni" (used with pride for some), "guinea", "greezer" (Greek), "eyetie", "guido" (learned that one recently because that is also a name) or "wop", but I know not to hurl any of them myself, even in jest, because that's a word they use for each other.

Those are "their" words.

+ Show (19) more repliesLast reply 3019d ago
Dante1123020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

True, Halo/COD kids are coming up with colorful language and derogatory slang that you have to look up nowadays. The PS3 community weren't that bad back then but now it's getting really bad since more people are buying PS3s. Anonymous+Internet= Douchebag

3020d ago
whydoyouask3020d ago

Douchebags are people who where sunglasses indoors.

I think your thinking of Assholes.

xXxSeTTriPxXx3020d ago

it's not just the kids it's grownups as well (and in large numbers).it's one of the reason i hate playing xbl.

frostypants3020d ago

Yep. Back in the day, playing Warhawk on PSN vs. Halo on Live was night and day. The PSN crowd was FAR more mature, and not coincidentally there were also far less kids.

These days, though, the difference has largely evaporated.

Developers need to make "mute" a standard feature in EVERY game.

Star513019d ago

So NO ONE on here is gonna admit racism??? (Deep breath) I called someone a klingon! Dear God that was freeing. Seriously though cracks-at-blacks-is-wack.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3019d ago
LOGICWINS3020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

Speaking of racism..have you guys seen the IGN article regarding Starhawk.

http://ps3.ign.com/articles...

The guy makes a HUUUGE deal about the main character being black. Even though the guy isn't being DIRECTLY racist, the fact that he's focusing so much on the skin color of the character makes me cringe a little.

Not only that, but he even goes as far as to call the character "unorthodox".

"He says it's unorthodox because it IS unorthodox. Not many main characters in video games are black. That's all he meant. Why try to spin it so that "unorthodox" is supposed to mean something bad."

The fact that he even feels the need to MENTION it SHOWS that race is an issue for him. He assumes that fans CARE that the main character is a minority.

Biggest3020d ago

Racism is far too widespread in the US. It changed from the blatant, violent crap that my parents/grandparents had to deal with to the underhanded, passive-agressive lameness that it is now. It's crazy that it still goes on these days. I would blame the internet, but it's the people themselves. Even with a television camera in their faces, some people just can't evolve.

Danniel13020d ago

Its called positive discrimination and its quite a big problem in western society.

AllyOmega3020d ago

YEAH, he was saying that because things like this in the gaming community happen so often. Under the anonymity of the internet, it's easy for someone who suppresses their racism in real life to let it all out.

He says it's unorthodox because it IS unorthodox. Not many main characters in video games are black. That's all he meant. Why try to spin it so that "unorthodox" is supposed to mean something bad.

As for his asking of whether gamers are ready for this, it seems to me to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to all the racism spewing from the mouths of teens and adults alike on XBL and PSN.
XBL is a place where you can lose all hope for humanity. It's disgusting, the things they say. But the truth is, that's how alot of people are on the inside. I'm not saying everyone is like that, but some are. Will those gamers be able to "handle" this? it's quite funny if you think about it.

DeeZee3020d ago

Yeah, that's dumb, shouldn't matter what color the lead character is.

ThanatosDMC3020d ago

Anybody played Resistance 1 co-op campaign recently? There is no mention of the black guy who had the same abilities, skills, and survivabilities as Nathan Hale. He was also there during the heroic feats that only Nathan Hale took all the credit for... seriously, they didnt even name him nor was he ever mentioned in the narrative and cinematics. They just made him the token black dude that did the same awesome things but Hale took all the credit.

AllyOmega3020d ago

If you hadn't noticed beforehand, that entire section of the preview seems tongue-in-cheek to me.

"I'm curious how fans will react when they're placed in the shoes of a minority. Will Graves speak to them? Will they even have the maturity to contemplate this instead of just spewing forth the typical vitriol of an Internet gaming message board?"

Sounds tongue-in-cheek to me.
He only stresses it so much perhaps because he was simply thinking about it. Maybe one of those "Hey, I haven't noticed that before" moments. Not negative, not positive, just an observation. Anthony Gallegos, I can assure you, Is most likely not racist. I've read many of his reviews and articles, and he is one of the most insightful writers on IGN. I recommend that you actually do some research before you assume things and immediately become offended.

That being said, that entire section wasn't really necessary... All it really accomplished was provoking people like you.

BlackKnight3020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

Dup comment. Sorry

Focker4203020d ago

I wonder if he had a problem playing as whats his face in GTA San Andreas??

pixelsword3019d ago (Edited 3019d ago )

One thing that is funny is how the writer speculates on "how fans will react when they're placed in the shoes of a minority" whilst totally ignoring that people of non-white descent have been doing the same thing in almost every game they've been playing since the days of defined characters in games.

I've even anguished against changing the character's look in Mirror's Edge and Heavenly Sword to make them look less Asian; that kinda ticked me off because there's so few ethnic main-lead roles in games, and they're even pushed aside in recent games. Like how Malcolm took a back seat in UTIII or how Rico was set aside in Killzone 2... but Rico (and the writers) fully redeemed themselves in Killzone 3.

I personally like how Valve does their writing; they constantly shatter roles of minority parts like the businessman in Left 4 Dead, or the Scottish guy in Team Fortress. Valve is one of the few companies that actually get it: different peoples have different characteristics. A lot of people could learn from Valve.

3019d ago
+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 3019d ago
NukaCola3020d ago

On Xbox with Halo the racism really was just kids screaming everything evil into the mic. I have heard some on PSN but mostly the COD crowd. Haven't heard anything racist in KZ or anything...yet. The worst for me is damn kids singing into the mic, or if someone has music blasting in the background. The winner, well losers of the year awards should definitely go to the Black Ops idiots with all their swatikas, and evil ass emblems.

Focker4203020d ago

There was a pretty heated battle between some british dudes and theses guys from minnesota in KZ3. It was the funniest argument I've ever heard in my entire life.

Clarence3020d ago

I get called a n!$$er at least twice when I'm playing KZ3, but most of the time I get a message from somebody I keep killing calling me some kind of racial slur. Haven't experienced any racial slurs since Gears 2.

Most of these guys tough behind the mic and keyboard, but wouldn't do $h!t in real life.

pixelsword3019d ago

You're right about that. most of these punks have no power in real life and since they have the power of the internet, they can ramble on with their simplistic and savage musings. In real life, they would be shining your shoes or serving your french fries in his McCareer man, so don't take it too hard.

Pain3020d ago

As long as the world has Morons... we will always have some form of racism.. to bad we cant feed them to the lions.

BlackKnight3020d ago (Edited 3019d ago )

My gaming name is Black Knight (I am white, Black Knight is a name back in 1997 from the Jedi Knight game that went online) and I get called "n-word knight" all the damn time. It is so irritating and makes me furious. I feel even worse when I have friends over that are black and they hear it over the TV. Be it Xbox or PS3, I hear it quite often.

Funnily enough, on PC I have been called something racist way less. I think I am glad I am going back to PC gaming. THIS console generation sucks on so many levels, especially the community.

jrbeerman113020d ago

the cheaper something is the more ignorant people can get their hands on it. its not the manufacturers fault, just the people that are using it.

to say that people who play xbox or ps3 are worse than pc is too much of a generalization, despite your claim actually being the case. the fact is that it is a side effect not a reason.

BlackKnight3020d ago

Well you bring up a good point about the price exclusivity.

But I wasn't literally saying Xbox/PS3 gamers are immature. I only said I hear it "quite often". What I am saying is a greater/very noticeable percentage of console players are immature compared to PC.

shayol33t3019d ago

Aye, pc gamers not so much racism just far far far far far far far far far far far far far more "noob hating"

pixelsword3019d ago

Yeah; that's why I'll NEVER give up on PC gameplay. there's a lot less bungholes on the PC, or maybe there's an equal amount, but they're smart enough to control themselves. the PS3 has bigots, but less (maybe because of the price) but XBL, although is a better service than the PSN overall is a cesspool, sad to say. And on top of my personal feelings about net neturality, I would have to pay to hear the insults from some inbred hick.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3019d ago
3020d ago
xtremeimport3019d ago

It might be on the PS3, but anyone who owns both consoles and plays games on both will know that pricks are far more common on the 360. I get it in Reach and MW2 all the time. I dont even have to say anything, as soon as they see the mic logo in Halo they start running their mouths. getting t-bagged while being called the n-word.

I can honestly say, if I have encountered this sort of behaviour on the Ps3 I can not remember when it was. Its too bad because it can ruin the experience for players who may not be the best at online shooters, but just want to have fun.

Bear_Grylls3019d ago

Microsoft should implement voice recon software that issues debit points when you "sin", "sin" to much and you get banned from Live for 24 hours. Get banned again and it's 48 hours.

Something like this we can only dream about as it will never happen.

But it would be so great.

OMGitzThatGuy3019d ago

"On my PS3 I recently experienced it on KZ3. The whole clan in the lobby was racist"

Something about that comment looks weird.

mastiffchild3019d ago

This kind of thing is just crap. It's got sod all to do with gaming, though, and is just a sad reflection of society as a whole I'm afraid. As gaming gets bigger and bigger we're going to find more instances of this-Sony/MS can only do so much.We can't do much about the attitudes but, as individuals,show WE won't put up with it.

I've quit out of games and reported people and for me it's especially sad as I thought gamers were better and they HAVE been ,to me, since I became disabled, the best community in terms of support that I'm in touch with. I KNOW how good hearted most gamers are so to see a load of idiots dragging us down bites me a bit harder.

I remember playing ODST with a couple of mates(just playing Firefight)and we decided we'd go PvP. The first game we got into had five or six guys split between the teams who were just terrible and they didn't seem to even know each other but were talking freely about this kind of thing in the lobby after the first game(IIRC-I was drunk and NOT amused by them). A couple were Yanks and a couple of English guys)but they hated EVERYONE to the extent I was amazed they could put up with each other! Gay, lesbian, Black, Asian, East Europeans-EVERYONE was below these idiots. Reported them for it but, though I looked, I never found out what happened to them. Saw one of their names in a lobby another time much later on but that was about it so i'm hoping MS gave a short ban to some of them.

I've come across it more on Live but, and I think this is true, that's probably mainly down to the fact that EVERYONE had a headset on Live and DON'T on PSN. I've had bad messages on PSN, though, after I'd stuck up for this guy who was getting attacked because his voice was a little camp(everyone in the lobby started calling him "bender" and "faggot" before TDM in MW2). As it happened he ISN'T gay but I'd said it didn't matter to them anyway and to back off, that they wouldn't like it and so on. Nobody said anything then but the messages I got later were crude and cowardly. When I reported them Sony said they'd "monitor" the situation but I've seen a few of those guys around a bit since so whether they stopped on their own after Sony warned them(which I doubt) or Sony did nothing and they're still as bad (which I think)the only thing I know is they aren't very brave.

Like, though, the issue with piracy I think the change has to come by gamers in general just telling each other that they won't tolerate idiots like this within gaming. Just refuse, like I do, to play games with people who act this way and soon enough the right thinking majority will curb the behaviour and we won't have, like I do, to worry about whether our kids are being exposed to and influenced by tools who say this kind of rubbish. Same as we should do with people who we know to pirate their games-if they thought we all looked down on it(and therefore them), and seriously, I think it would soon become something they: a, wouldn't be so proud to talk about and, b, something they might actually stop.

Whatever, the impetus for ridding gaming of these outdated and stupid, offensive opinions must come FROM us gamers. If WE won;'t put up with it we won;'t need Soy or MS to do our fighting for us and the issue would, pretty soon, become nothing to worry about. Most bigots are cowards who have to hang out in little gangs to reinforce their beliefs-they must be insecure to begin with and would only take a bit of pushing to stop. I know a group of them IS intimidating but at the same time think; would you want your child being spoken to by these idiots with their irrational hatred and tasteless slang? Exactly. Then we stop it.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 3019d ago
ftwrthtx3020d ago

Racism seems to be everywhere, regardless of what race you are. Online gaming is probably worse than in public society due to the fact that no one has to go face to face, in person, in order for their racial remarks to be heard.

RedPawn3020d ago

People are cowards and can't take losing, this is what happens when most of your core components are built around competitive gaming experiences.

NYC_Gamer3020d ago

i don't really believe/buy in to so called racism because we are all the human race living on this planet called earth

Joni-Ice3020d ago

Thats true but I just wish everyone felt the same. I can remember being called all types of N-words in that KZ3 game. I was so angry because these guys didn't care who they were offending. You can hear the hatred in their voices and they were all adults.

NYC_Gamer3020d ago

never allow words to hold power over you....

Biggest3020d ago

There is nothing for you to buy. It is what it is whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

VenGencE9993020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

@NYC
Not to offend you or insult you, but you can't be black. I don't want to assume what race you are, but I HAVE to assume you are NOT black.

I'm black and there isn't a black person I know( and I know hundreds) that "don't believe/buy into so called racism", as we deal with it almost every day. It only takes ONE instance to "believe" in racism.

Racism is alive and doing very well in 2011, and you don't have to be black to see it. Visit yahoo(just one of many big sites) and click on ANY article that involves blacks and read the comments.

One last note, I assume you live in NYC and you don't "buy/believe in so called racism"? Even after a UNARMED INNOCENT black man was murdered, shot more than 40 times by police, because they THOUGHT he had a gun? Not SAW a gun, but THOUGHT he had one? Didn't even matter that he was well dress and not thugged out..

Because all black men are criminals and carry illegal weapons right?

I've NEVER heard of this happening to a white person, and if you have I welcome your insight...

NYC_Gamer3020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

i call that self hate and ignorance towards own human race......all in the name of some man made groups that are placed here to divide us when in fact we are all the same.

VenGencE9993020d ago

That's just it. They( meaning racists) don't consider other races as part of the human race. And while this practice IS in fact ignorant, it is also very deadly as countless innocent individuals have lost their lives from it.

But hey, I'm not here to change your mind or even inform you, I'll just pray you don't run into these non-existent groups in the future, alone...

Tainted Gene3020d ago

I get where your coming from NYC, but your just naive in your thinking. ITs a good ideal, but its naive all the same.

BrianG3019d ago (Edited 3019d ago )

Read my whole comment before passing judgement.

Why? Because I'm white, in a predominantly black neighborhood, 19142, South West Philadelphia PA.

It doesn't matter what race you are. I'm white and have experienced racism almost every single day. Things have tapered off a bit as of late, but I still get treated differently, starred at, called names, was bullied when younger, jumped for being white, etc...

Being black is not the only way to experience racism. And anyone who thinks it does is essentially being racist, by assuming whites can't experience it.

RavageX3019d ago

Most of this is true. Sometimes I'll forget that race is an issue for some, I've been to wonderful places where most people I met didn't care what color who is, etc.

But at least once a day, doesn't matter if I go out in public, because I can run into this online...I'll be quickly reminded of how things typically are.

It makes me sad, it really does. There's no reason that things have to be that way. You'll have people that will go far to try and justify their feelings about other races, but in the end it's always just someone's personal opinions and not facts.

I love my games, but I don't love online play that much....just because it brings a chance that I'll run into racism. I play games to relax and enjoy myself...have fun. That can quickly be spoiled by one or two racist remarks.

I don't even have to go that far some days. All I have to do is read an article about the president, or any black actor/actress online that allows comments. It's almost a sure thing you'll see racism there.

Let's say you try to avoid it...you don't go out much, don't play online much or read articles...well, if you watch tv chances are you'll see it there too in some form or fashion.

You just get tired of it after awhile.

VenGencE9993018d ago

@BrianG

Just to be clear I never said you have to be black to experience racism. I assumed he wasn't black because if he was he'd have experienced or seen it at least once in his life and he wouldn't run away from the term.

Blacks are the ONLY race I know that don't dance around the issue and disregard an obvious issue.

I can't and won't assume what white people go through as I'm not white. But I can say with full confidence that any black over 14, regardless of age, location or upbringing has either experienced it or seen it.

Only wanted to clarify my words as I don't want them to be twisted into what they are not, nor portrayed as something I am not.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3018d ago
Emilio_Estevez3020d ago

People over the internet are racist - FACT

ftwrthtx3020d ago

Anonymity gives people more confidence in displaying their racial beliefs.

Case in point: Why does the KKK wear hoods?

Joni-Ice3020d ago

Yeah why do they? I never knew why.

ftwrthtx3020d ago

So people in their communities have no idea who they are.

That's the only logical reason to wear a hood.

KDubyah3020d ago

Yeah, they did so to hide who they were .. if people took offense to it.
Like, would you want your child to be in a classroom with a racist teacher?
Well, with the hoods on, you would never know who they actually were.

Just a bunch of cowards, is who they are ..

shayol33t3019d ago

Cowards? "we are good strong americans!"

Yes made up quote, but I'm sure you'll find some racist bigot saying something similar *note: american is interchangeable for any country*