Quoted: ‘Burn Your Bra’ on Racism And Body Image in Gaming

DMG|BurnYourBra: At tournaments players talk [crap] to each other. That’s just the way tournaments are. People get hyped. Players get salty when they lose, which is fine. But there is a difference between trash talking and calling other players disrespectful names. For me, I’ve been called a dyke, a butch, a slut, a bitch… I was even called a black bitch to my face along with being called a lesbian, a gorilla, and a monkey. Now I know people are going to say that as a player in the community, you have to have a thick skin. I do, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t speak up about the names I’ve been called. Because these names refer to my sex, but most of them refer to my race; which to me is racist. I think some of these people are blurring the lines between trash talk and disrespectful trash talk. And again, this is just my experience on the matter. I don’t know if anyone else has had this experience. So I wrote a note on my Facebook, made it private, and got the opinions of several other black female gamers. They all have had somewhat the same type of experience as I, some have seen it and others have heard of it.

DMG|jason24cf: Another topic you had mentioned in your post was about “not having the look” could you go into that further?

DMG|BurnYourBra: I would love to *laughs*. Well, I don’t feel that it was like this 10 years ago but there is what I call an “Asian Aesthetic” (as in meaning beautiful) in the fighting game community. There is almost an invisible rule in the way male gamers see female gamers in terms of looks. I’ve read and I have come across a lot of individuals who think because a certain person or persons are of Asian descent that they’re automatically good. Now, I will admit, Japanese players are really good, that can’t be denied. But when it comes in terms of females, it feels to me like it’s almost a written rule that if you aren’t Asian, and if you don’t have the look that fits into this beauty hierarchy, then you’re just not good. So, for me, I feel like it’s a double standard that I really can’t fight. I’m not Asian and I don’t have the Asian Aesthetic look. I’m an African American female, so I am looked at as trash by some people. Also, it is a male dominated community, I know of a few girls who have told me they don’t have “the look” or “don’t fit that ideal.” This ideal shouldn’t be used as a rule for females who want to play. So for me, and this is my own personal experience again, I want to be judged by my play. You can say that I suck. And I’m fine with that. But when you base it on my looks then that’s when I have a problem. I’m not there to please the males at the tournament with looks. I’m there to play and to get better. Judge me on my play rather than on my looks.
– From an April 16 interview in Dominion Method Gaming
Image courtesy of Kotaku

  • Ike

    You go girl! Kick their sexist, racist, nub asses.

  • Ike

    You go girl! Kick their sexist, racist, nub asses.

  • Val R.

    I’m not a gamer but it seems to me that women and People of Color might want to as a group let tournament sponsors know what’s going on. And if that doesn’t work then I’m sure mainstream media would love a story like this. And if this hits the MSM then sponsors would pay attention and do something to stop this abusive behavior.

    Also this just goes to show how much extra stress African Americans especially, some POC’s and women deal with in life. Imagine going to a gaming event and having to deal with this? Who would even have thought this would be going on.

  • http://twitter.com/RnRPumpkin Ebony

    This is why as a black female I am reluctant to get into gaming as much as I would like to. I don’t want to deal with all the sexist, racist, homophobic BS that ultimately rears it’s big ass head- just like almost every other form of entertainment there is. It’s just so crushing to me that something that is supposed to be fun and enjoyable can be such a drag for us…

  • http://dont-read.blogspot.com Angel H.

    DO NOT read the comments in the linked-to Kotaku article if you don’t want to lose your temper.

    • AJ

      I read this and I knew better but damned if I didn’t read just a few of those comments and lost it. Yet people have the nerve to say that the geek/gamer/etc communities are progressive.

      • maus

        “Yet people have the nerve to say that the geek/gamer/etc communities are progressive.”

        Nerd communities are “inclusive” in some ways, but intolerant in others. Plenty of privilege involved, an obnoxious amount of libertarian and “south park conservative, non-‘pc’ ” white males.

        Who says the community is “progressive”? I’ll give that the Penny Arcade is conscious of these things, and does self-moderate and discuss things in healthy ways, but the “gaming community” defined as the blog/forum comment cesspool at large can definitely be piggish and obtuse.

        • AJ

          Whenever the topic of race, gender and etc come up I often run into people stating that since they aren’t part of “mainstream” culture that they know what it’s like to be on the outside.