By Arturo R. García
Yesterday a reader e-mailed us with a tip (emphasis mine):
Recently I’ve begun to notice in the PC Gaming scene this really irritating meme going around that basically consists of people calling themselves part of the PC Master Race and acting like that they’re nearly untouchable to anyone who even thinks to play on a console [XBox 360, Playstation 3, etc.]. Now, the attitude itself that PC Gaming is superior has actually been around for quite a long time and I’ve always considered it nothing more than part of the sophomoric fanboy loyalty that’s extremely rampant in computer gaming in general that I’ve long outgrown. For the record, I do think that PC Gaming is much better if you’re going independent or something since you’ll have much more creative control and won’t have to go through the trouble of worrying about what publishers want, but that’s only if you care enough about making games to begin with, but that’s kinda besides the point.
The term seems to have started as a one-off joke from a game review by Zero Punctuation (video contains NSFW language), which contains the image posted above. The somewhat snarky tone of the review suggests it was meant to take the piss out of both sides of the PC/console gaming debate. Still, does anybody need a reminder of why “running with it” is problematic? Okay, just in case.
While its’ use since then may not be “widespread” – for what it’s worth, no gamers I know had heard of it when I asked – it’s still beyond tone-deaf, even if board postings like Look, you’re either part of the PC master race or a console unwashed pig or As a PC Master Race gamer, I feel insulted seeing that dirty console peasant crap are thrown around “in jest.”
To say nothing of the “PC Master Race” user group that popped up on one gaming site, with both a creepy tagline – “We Will Survive all. We are The Master Race. The PC Master Race. Forget consoles” – and the handy disclaimer (caps not mine), “IN NO WAY DO WE SUPPORT THE NAZI PARTY OR ANY OF THEIR IDEOLOGIES. OR ANY OTHER HATE GROUPS” while its’ avatar features a fraking Swastika colored like the Microsoft logo.
As Latoya would say, I just can’t. Luckily, the reader can:
I really can’t imagine anyone who’s not unaware of the issues gaming really needs to work using this phrase at all, jokingly or otherwise. I’m just thinking that if someone who was oppressed in some way and had very little knowledge of PC gaming were to come by a forum where this was used, they’d be turned off pretty quickly. While I’m not turned off completely because of it, I’m getting the feeling someone like me wouldn’t exactly be welcomed with my own ideas.
I’m just really frustrated–I personally think that PoC can use this medium as a way to express themselves in a totally new and exciting, and the technological advances made over the past decade has been drastic, but sadly the the same cannot be said of recognizing and fixing the social issues that happen in the games themselves and in the fandom. This is just another obstacle that’s getting in the way, even if it doesn’t seem like that at first glance. I’d like to get into gaming myself one day, not to try to make the best graphics, but to help create believable characters of color who are kinda lacking. I think that the PC platform can be very useful especially for PoCs to create the games that they want. At this time, that seems nothing more than a dream though.