We’re pleased to say that The Mary Sue, a site with the tagline “A Guide to Girl Geek Culture,” published an article about Gamers Against Bigotry. The article focused on an interview with Sam about Gamers Against Bigotry, probing into the goals of the movement and the obstacles we’ll have to overcome. It’s a great read if you’re looking to learn more about GAB.
Go read the full article here, but you can also sneak a peek at one of the question/answers below.
BC: The usual counter-argument on this issue is that asking people to refrain from using slurs equates to censorship, or that it somehow impedes their freedom of speech. What’s your take on that?
SK: This idea of “freedom of speech” is a bit of an urban legend that is perpetuated when it’s convenient. Would you be free to walk into a grocery store and start yelling “I love killing n*****s because the only good n***** is a dead n*****”? (That’s a direct quote from the last time I played Call of Duty.) Absolutely not. If you were lucky, you’d be escorted out by a manager (and not a torch-bearing mob). Then why is that okay to do in a gaming lobby?
Further, you’d be thrown out of that same grocery store just for constantly yelling (even if you were yelling “I LOVE BABY CARROTS! OH SWEET GOD I LOVE BABY CARROTS!”), because it ruins the grocery shopping experience for everyone else.
It’s not a matter of infringing on free speech as much as it is a matter of infringing on a gamer’s ability to play games without being subject to identity-based, bigoted, hate speech. The ultimate question I urge people to ask themselves is “How would not having bigoted language present in gaming be a bad thing?”
Big thanks to Becky Chambers for asking the tough questions and creating some great exposure for GAB! Check out her other articles — they’re great.