Digital Hatred

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Again I feel the need to publish some news that has little to do with Caledon, but which I feel simply needs to be better known. Recently, GayGamer.com, a gaming site specifically catering to the homosexual community was knocked off line by a clearly hate-based DoS attack. Thankfully, it has since returned to the Aether.

Predictably, many gaming forums have been hijacked by those who ask the question “Why does there need to be a gaming site for homosexuals? Can’t gay gamers just use any site?” I feel such an argument is spurious in that it completely avoids uncomfortable truths, attempting to make the victim and not the victimizer account for themselves.

Whatever the majority may feel, it is the right of any minority community to decide it’s own requirements and comfort zone without the majority dictating it to them. However good intentioned the majority may be or think that they are being (“Some of my best friends are gay”), that is infantilization and down that road lies madness. Rather then asking, in this case, if gay gamers need their own site, a much better question is “WHY do gay gamers feel that they DO?”

There is no doubt that the gaming community is highly homophobic. You need only look at the rampant use of the word Gay as a dismissive insult on most MMOs to see that. The prejudice becomes all the clearer when it is noted that when games threatened to ban the term Gay as hate speech, gamers began spelling the insult Ghey. Sly devils.

I am taking the liberty of reprinting the following story from the excellent gaming site, Kotaku.

GayGamer Target of Hate Crime

A hacker has knocked GayGamer.net, the only news gathering gay-gaming site, offline with a series of denial of service attacks after flooding the site with threatening emails and hate speech, the site’s owner said Sunday.

Flynn De Marco, the site’s owner and Kotaku weekend editor, said small waves of denial of service attacks started Wednesday morning, causing occasional timeouts on the site. By Friday the site, working with their host, was able to block the IPs where the DOS attacks seemed to be coming from. Then Friday evening someone began flooding the site’s forums and chat room with hate speech, including some death threats, and over-sized images meant to bog down the site, De Marco said. The flood of messages and images all originated from the same IP in Philidelphia, he added.

The site deleted the offensive messages, but the continued DOS attacks lead to the site’s host taking GayGamer down until the attacks could be permanently blocked. De Marco hopes to get the site operational by Monday, but is having problems getting a straight answer from their host, GoDaddy.Com.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations a hate crime, also known as a bias crime, is a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.

Its sad to see that even in the virtual worlds of gaming and game coverage people decide that the only way they can express themselves is by attacking others. Below is GayGamer’s official statement on the outage.

Hello, faithful readers: As you might have noticed, we have had some connection issues in the last few days and now the site is completely down. I’m sad to say that we have been the target of homophobic hackers. Thankfully, they didn’t get to our database so all of our stuff is still in tact. At this point we are jut waiting for our service provider to ensure everything is good before putting the server back online. Hopefully, this will be resolved by the end of this weekend, so please keep checking back. You can’t keep a good gay gamer down, so we’ll be back before you know it, serving up all the sassy game content you can handle. Cheers, Fruit Brute

3 Comments

  1. When I used to adventure in MMO’s and people (including, embarrassingly, even a family member) used the word “gay” as a generic insult to something (or rarely someone), I would feign confusion and ask them, “what, you mean it’s a better dancer / sharper dressed / cleverer conversationalist than you?”

    Aye, I know that’s not entirely politically correct either, making tongue-in-cheek use of playful stereotypes. But generally, coming from the sexy magechick, that shut them up.

  2. That is rather unfortunate. Even here in SL, where you can be anything AV-wise, I had an incident that caught me off-guard. A not-so-gentleman once stopped dancing with me when I simply said that I was not Latina (after he asked). He then insulted me. I was stunned and couldn’t help but to think “What the hell? You stopped dancing with me when you realized I was another ethnicity instead?!”

    This was early on in my SL experience and made me realize that folks most certainly bring their RL biases into their virtual world as well.

  3. One of my loves has the unfortunate habit of referring to things as ‘so gay’ if he dislikes them. I carefully remind him each time that he’s dating a bisexual woman, one who is openly so in SL and RL, and he does apologize. Then he does it again.

    It’s enculturation. I deal with that particular term being used as a pejorative everywhere. People blink at me when I object. It literally doesn’t sink in for a moment, they remain absolutely baffled that anyone would object.

    I think that moment, right there, is why sites like GayGamer.net and others need to continue existing–because it’s in that moment of absolute confusion as to why anyone would mind that the inherent problem can be found–not the denials later, nor the insults before.


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