Words Have an Impact | The R-word and Gaming.

Tuesday 29 October 2019

 My cat sat on my gaming chair looking up at me with her big green eyes

From a young age I have always been aware of what sort of words which were good and bad, especially when it came to having younger siblings that were impressionable and would pick up on words pretty easily, I'm sure this goes for any young child as they tend to be sponges that take it all in but for us there were words that were drummed into us that we're a no go even if I said certain words when I was younger to hurt my sisters feelings which weren't fair and was disgusting of me, since then I have grown and had a look at the language I use and how it can impact others. Unfortunately, not everyone learns and still remain pretty ignorant towards others and the language they tend to use is disgusting and this is a big problem in the gaming world, yes I'm talking about ableist language but one word in particular which is Retard which I shall refer to as the R-word throughout this.

I understand that even by writing this word in a post like this I'm probably making a target for myself as I will be called snowflake or told to get a grip but the point of this post is to highlight how this word has become all too common in the gaming community and needs to stop. Tempers do run high in games, people get competitive but it can turn nasty pretty fast and people on mic or even in messages can turn nasty because they become bitter about how the gameplay is turning out, this is where people need to take a look at their behaviour and how they portray themselves even if they think it's easy to get away with words end up damaging others whether you like it or not.

The R-word is such a largely used word that was deemed acceptable to use for years, in the Cambridge dictionary it has two main meanings one is to make something slower, the other is a stupid or mentally slow person, the latter meaning of the r-word has been used for years and years in a way to describe those with mental illnesses, disabilities and many other disorders where people don't fit into the norm of everyday life. Now in the gaming world, the r-word is used to describe people being bad at a game to someone being too good at a game, it's thrown around so casually that people say it in jest thinking it's hilarious.

A section of my gaming room with my gaming chair facing forward

It's not, in fact, it can have a huge negative effect on not only the person being called that but also for the community as a whole, one thing in particular that I have addressed was making games more accessible makes certain people angry and think those asking for accessible gaming are just "The R-word" and shouldn't play games if they're too dumb. This argument is one that stood out to me the most because it's such a derogatory term to use and try to put down a large number of people who just want to enjoy gaming without being met by limitations. The language we choose to have on and offline can have a big effect on how we are portrayed, I personally will steer clear of those who would choose to be ableist and use the r-word online as it's not a funny remark nor is it just "banter".

You may be reading this thinking that you can't say anything online anymore without offending anyone but take a look at what things people have said about you behind your back or to your face in the past and think about how hurtful it can become, it's not a case of silencing people it's more of a case of educating people that the r-word no longer has a place in society. You may not think it will hurt anyone by using it and but all you have to do is ask google why it's not acceptable to use and it will help educate you. Considering the gaming world has vastly grown and it has brought so many people together there are a select few who ruin that for kicks.

I have found myself coming away from the gaming community again which is something that I didn't want to do, nor did I think it would need to happen. Yes, I could try to ignore the language used within it but it's become a very toxic place, as soon as someone mentions they like a game that another doesn't they get called the r-word or dragged by trolls who have nothing better to do. If someone needs accessibility settings they're labeled the r-word and incapable of being allowed to game because they need to git gud.

I would like to see a more supportive community open to the idea of abolishing the r-word and people being abusive towards anyone that doesn't fit the criteria for respect in their world, I would like to see the gaming community practice what they preach when it comes to bullying in the gaming community too, I would like to see the gaming community to open their eyes and arms to a more diverse and respectful community where everyone feels welcome. But alas, it's not as simple as that because people feel their freedom of speech is being taken away, that's not the case, it's so much more simple. If you have nothing nice to say keep it to yourself, educate yourself on how to better your use of language and how you treat others and if you can't do that, you're not welcome in my community.


Any hate will not be published.