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Old 04-16-2013, 10:09 PM   #1
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Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

This is a brilliant and touching article collaborated on by a developer and a Threshold player. It reminded me of the main reason I love making games: bringing joy to as many people as possible. I've always considered the most important part of my job to make sure people felt safe in my community. I really hope I've been able to achieve that for most of our players over the years.

Finding a Place to Call Home

Quote:
"When you are gay your most immediate choices are: ignore, fight back or quit. But why these choices? Why not have a place that you can enjoy yourself, game as you like, make friends and have that rewarding social gaming experience. That's something a lot of gay players have to figure out and balance with whatever level of tolerance they muster."
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

When you're playing an online roleplaying game, it shouldn't make any difference what gender-preference the player has. He's (or she's) not playing himself in the game. No one else is going to care if he's (or she's) gay or straight, unless he/she makes an issue of it, in an OOC manner.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:31 AM   #3
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

Jazuela, are you trolling, kidding, playing devil's advocate, or are you really this ignorant of what online gaming communities are like for gay gamers?

It makes for a pretty miserable and hostile environment when (as is the case in most online game communities) people engage in gay-bashing and constantly spew anti-gay slurs both IC and OOC.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:56 AM   #4
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

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Jazuela, are you trolling, kidding, playing devil's advocate, or are you really this ignorant of what online gaming communities are like for gay gamers?

It makes for a pretty miserable and hostile environment when (as is the case in most online game communities) people engage in gay-bashing and constantly spew anti-gay slurs both IC and OOC.
Nice article. It warms my heart to see others out there perpetuating a healthy environment of equality as well. That was one of the things that struck me about both Armageddon and WOTL (sadly hasn't been running in a few years, I believe) was the environment of just equality on the levels of gender and sexual preference. I think part of it with regards to Armageddon (why they enjoy the strife of racism in game but not out of game, and why sexuality is always to be treated with the same tolerance, be it gay or straight or something kinkier) is because of the fact that they've had a very diverse staff over the years (something I'm pleased to see is apparently shared in Threshold to a degree), from a transgendered person (m2f) who went on to become a porn star (Juliette Stray) to a bisexual young woman (myself) and I believe another staffer there was a gay male as well. I have to say, reading that particular article made me want to give your game a try more than any of the other posts I've seen for it. The main thing that seems unappealing is more the race selection than anything else, but even still, after tonight, I may at least log in and make a pc to get a look around.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:40 AM   #5
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
When you're playing an online roleplaying game, it shouldn't make any difference what gender-preference the player has.
That's a bit like saying it shouldn't make any difference when a player is the husband/wife/partner/friend of the admin because staff favouritism is completely unheard of, right?
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:28 AM   #6
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

While I can't speak from experience, I can definitely imagine most muds (being fairly non-policed, anything goes environments) being full of teenagers who use "gay" as the adjective of choice for nearly anything undesirable, and "fag" as the ultimate insult for anybody with any negative quality. Especially years ago when a larger portion of mud players were immature teenagers, and when homosexuality was less accepted across the board.

I do want to submit, however, that the pendulum has swung a little too far, and people are way too sensitive nowadays. For example, if an idiot uses the word "gay" as a synonym for bad, and we all understood what he meant, then that word has that definition (even if it's slang, tasteless, and offensive). We communicated using that word. He said it, we understood it. People get way too uppity nowadays. "OMG!!!! Bigotry!!!" Honestly, it's not against any laws to be wrong and stupid, and I say let stupid people show their colors so the rest of us can make informed decisions regarding those people. If someone wants to hate and condemn homosexuality, he has the same right to do that as a gay person has to be gay, out, and proud about it. It's up to each mud owner to decide on rules and whether to punish or ban people for stating stupid and unpopular, offensive opinions. While it would be politically incorrect in today's climate, a mud owner could legitimately choose to ban homosexuals from his game based on his own moral views.

I'd question any homosexual player, even in today's accepting climate, that logs into a roleplaying game and devotes any significant amount of time to chatting on out of character channels about being homosexual. I don't have a problem with homosexuality, but I've always been bothered by people who use homosexuality as attention-seeking behavior. I don't talk about being straight or Jewish or having a heart murmur or each time I'm battling diarrhea. I'm not saying homosexual mud players should stay in the closet, just be judicious. If I don't know you and I'm not your friend, and the only thing we have in common is that we happen to be logged into the same mud right now, it's strange that I know you're gay. I'd also question anybody who plays a homosexual character in a roleplay-enforced game and doesn't expect at least a little guff for that, in character (provided the mud world where that's taking place is a fairly traditional medieval climate).
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

Agree with Snowtroll. And no, I wasn't trolling. I was expressing my opinion. Do you disagree, and feel that it _should_ matter if the person is gay or straight or bisexual? Do you really feel that it should matter? I think it shouldn't matter. I know that for some ignorant people, it DOES matter - but, I feel pretty strongly that it shouldn't.

Why, Threshold, do you think it should matter? Do gay people roleplay differently than straight people? I've known a few RPers who, for whatever reason, let people know they were gay. The most common response has been "Oh." Do you expect something other than that? I just really think someone's sexuality is a non-issue, and it -should- be treated as such. Whether it is treated as such or not, is another matter entirely.

But if you disagree with me, I'd be interested in hearing why.

Also, where I play, I don't see gay bashing and slurs thrown IC or OOC against gay players.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:52 PM   #8
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

I'm pretty sure slurs and ad hominems are something that is bad to have in a Mud line regardless of who it is directed at or why.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

It shouldn't matter if a player is gay.

In a strict RP game set in ye olden times, however, it really should matter.

Of course rule of fun applies. The kind of people who enjoy mistreating someone because of their preference, I would not want in a game I'm playing.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:33 PM   #10
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

I do have exsperience in this.

Back in the day when Castle Marrach was playable (unlike now) we had a total of four gay players that I knew of--three of whom I interacted with during play, and I myself had a bisexual charater running.

Back then, noone minded them. In fact, the player of Philo became highly respected both as a player and in character. Yaoi (yes, that was the name he played under) was quite flamboyant, but never overboard or irritating with it. In fact, he was quite controled with his play. Alyse's player was lesbian in real life, and wheelchair bound with a muscle disorder--she played her character as a scheamer and vandal to the hilt.

The fourth one I spent the most time with simply because he was a player facing all kinds of crap in RL, so I became a 'counciler' to him...And for the life of me I cannot remember his character name.

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Old 04-17-2013, 08:35 PM   #11
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostcat View Post
It shouldn't matter if a player is gay.

In a strict RP game set in ye olden times, however, it really should matter.

Of course rule of fun applies. The kind of people who enjoy mistreating someone because of their preference, I would not want in a game I'm playing.

Sadly, it doesn't matter if the player is Gay.

You'll find players who'll get their jollies off of mistreating someone just because they can.


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Old 04-17-2013, 08:57 PM   #12
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

Jazuela:

I believe that Threshold (and I'm trying not to speak for him, but rather to articulate what I believe him to have been saying) was stating that it's kind of head-in-the-sand to believe this: No one else is going to care if he's (or she's) gay or straight, unless he/she makes an issue of it, in an OOC manner.

A lot of players on a lot of online games speak and react in an intolerant manner. It's just true. The sentiment of "should not matter" is the correct statement, which you said, but the last part unfortunately did not agree with the first. If you've been lucky enough to find a community where those ideals have indeed taken hold, then that is a beautiful thing, but it is not typical.

This article was written by players who've played many different online games and have experiences to back up the statements made, having lived it I can tell you first-hand that what I say above is true.

SnowTroll:
I will never accept someone casually throwing around the gaycist word "gay" to mean something bad. If you want to see how awkward your post is, replace every instance of gay or homosexual with "black person" and the word "gay" you have in quotes...well, you know what word to use. You do agree that it's horrible, so this isn't a personal attack toward you, but rather an attempt to show how completely offensive it is to, instead of trying to correct a situation, just let it go "cos it shows they're dum." Nobody really needs more evidence of that.

Also, I have no idea who talks about BEING straight or gay. That's a really short discussion right there. It's a whole sentence after which you are pretty much forced to move on since there's really nothing more to be said.

To conclude, I want to say that the reason I was happy that Threshold posted this link for you all to read was because I personally feel that it was easier to find acceptance amongst MUDders than any other type of online gaming and we all seem to agree that safe gaming is important and since people need an escape from whatever's going on in their lives, that finding this haven in MUDs really speaks to the platform as a community.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:02 AM   #13
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

Jazuela:

Not all games are like Armageddon (which BTW is my home MUD as well), where you can play with someone daily for a RL year or more, without ever learning the first thing about their OOC lives. Some people like to play MUDs where they can get to know their fellow players and chat about their lives. And sometimes when you chat about your life, people may become aware what your sexual orientation is. Just like straight players might mention that their spouse is bugging them to get off the game, so might a gay player. However, crypto-bigots think that whenever gay people are talking about their personal lives in a way that reveals they are gay (just like a straight person might say things that reveals they are straight), they are "seeking attention." Bull****. That's because crypto-bigots are uncomfortable with the fact gay people exist and latch on to any indication that a gay person is gay, and imagine they are "seeking attention" or "flaunting" their sexuality. If you think this, I'm sorry, but it's a sign that you have a nagging problem with gay people and just don't like the fact that they exist and you might have to be aware that they exist.

SnowTroll:

Regarding your (nonsensical) rant about word meanings: I appreciate your linguistic descriptivist stance, but you're doing it all wrong. Sure, "gay" has a demeaning, offensive, pejorative meaning. Okay, that's one of the meanings. When someone uses that word with that demeaning, offensive, pejorative meaning, they are being a bigoted asshole. It doesn't matter if there are laws against it (WTF?), other people have every right to correctly assess that the person using that kind of language is a bigoted asshole and treat them like one accordingly, whether that be banning from the game, shunning them, calling them a bigoted asshole, or what-have-you.

It's also hilariously obvious whenever someone has to include a sentence like "I have no problem with homosexuals" or "I'm not racist but..." that they do, in fact, have a problem with homosexuals, or are racist. If you are defending the use of the term "gay" as an insult: congratulations, you have a problem with gay people, as the rest of your post makes abundantly clear! Your post amounts to "I have no problem with gay people as long as they stay in the closet where they belong." That's what the whole "attention" / "it shouldn't make any difference (because they should STFU about it)" stuff is really getting at.


Guess what guys, gay people are here. They're out of the closet. Most of them have been told for their whole lives to be ashamed of who they are and to hide or suppress it, just like you "well-meaning" chodes are attempting to tell them again, right now! Well they shouldn't have to be ashamed. They shouldn't have to bite their tongue to avoid exposing your delicate senses to the fact that gay people exist. They should have every right to talk about their lives, even talk specifically about being gay, or *gasp* how homophobia is a real and ****ty problem, one which taints this very thread with its unmistakable stink.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:46 AM   #14
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
Do you disagree, and feel that it _should_ matter if the person is gay or straight or bisexual? Do you really feel that it should matter? I think it shouldn't matter.
Jazuela: I don't know what you are going on about.

Did you read the article?

The topic is how most online gaming communities are openly hostile, hateful, and unpleasant for gay gamers. There is so much open gay bashing, common use of gay-hating slurs, etc. that it is extremely unpleasant for gay gamers to try and play the game.

Fortunately, there are some games that aren't like that. There are some online communities that don't tolerate that sort of thing. It may even be possible that text MUDs have a higher percentage of such communities. If so, that's something for our community to be excited about.

Aside from that, I can't tell what you are going on about. It sounds like you didn't read the article and missed the point entirely.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:59 AM   #15
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

I'm with Jazuela and ShowTroll on this. It is always puzzled me, why would people go on about their private life to random strangers, who happened to play the same game, let alone about their sexual preferences. Why would I need to know that you prefer men, women, goats or vacuum cleaners? Who cares? If you are so intent to make your private life public, why won't you tell everybody your credit card number instead? At least in latter case it may have any use for somebody outside of questionable reward of being able to call somebody a homophobic slur.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:46 AM   #16
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

One:
Because they are people with lives. They live in their lives. It is exactly the same as someone saying "My mom's making me go and bring in the groceries."
My kid's crying got to go.
My husband just walked in, hide the mudsex!
Making causal statements about the life you lead isn't "going on about" things. It's referencing the life you live in. That seem like a fairly basic human right.

Now imagine that instead of just saying, "Got to go, my husband is home," you had to monitor yourself, and watch and make sure that nothing you said was revealing. That's ridiculous. People should be able to be casually self-referential.

That's why.

I look forward to a day where we don't celebrate gay pride, or gay marriage or gay acceptance, because it's the normal order of the day and to do so would be as odd as a straight pride day. I think it's wonderful that Threshold is a place where the GLTG community can be comfortable. I think it sucks that so many other places are not that it's noteworthy.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:54 AM   #17
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

No, I didn't read the article. I should clarify. I read the first two paragraphs of it. When I saw that this was just another cloyingly sweet glurge-fest to glorify the glories of Threshold, I closed the page. I don't play Threshold, I don't want to play Threshold, I don't care if Threshold players have found the world outside their game to be filled with mean stinky nasty bullies and theirs is a haven of happy happy joy joy.

I responded based on the topic itself, as posed in the thread title: Communities tolerant and accepting of gay gamers.

If you intended for everyone to read another webvertisement about how wonderful Threshold players are and how mean and nasty all the MMOs out there are, you failed.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:58 AM   #18
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

I'm quite glad Threshold and other muds (In Armageddon it's a non-issue from my experience) in the community are accepting and not hostile. I am disappointed that those muds have to be singled out because of others that are not so accepting, however- optimally no one would be turned off from a game they'd otherwise enjoy because of OOC hostility.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:31 AM   #19
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

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Originally Posted by joyofdiscord View Post
It's also hilariously obvious whenever someone has to include a sentence like "I have no problem with homosexuals" or "I'm not racist but..." that they do, in fact, have a problem with homosexuals, or are racist.
There is an entire landscape of people that lie between the 10% that are super-supportive, ultra-pro-gay, march in a parade in solidarity, love all humanity, homosexual rights supporters, and the 10% that are psychotic gay-bashing bigots (10 percent chosen as an unsupported exemplary figure). Most people don't care about homosexuality, or about bigotry all that much. They'll tell you it's okay for gay people to be gay, and for bigots to be idiotic bigots, and they just don't care. I'm darn sick of people telling me that if you're not an ultra-devoted gay rights advocate and actually expect homosexuals to at least recognize that even if it's totally cool and acceptable that they're living differently than most people, they're still living differently than most people, that makes you a bigot.

Bigots (real bigots, not normal people like those described in the paragraph above) have just as much of a right to be out and proud about their bigotry as homosexuals have to be gay and proud of it. Who are you to tell a bigot that who he is, how he behaves, and what he thinks is morally wrong, disgusting, and that he needs to keep his mouth shut and stay in the closet about his thoughts and feelings? It's proud and heroic to tell that to a bigot, but disgusting to tell that to a homosexual person? I don't agree with the viewpoint of a homophobic bigot, but I strongly believe he has a right to his viewpoint and a right to express it, just like I strongly believe in homosexuals having that same right. What's funny is that if a bunch of big gay men from the nearest muscle beach took a few baseball bats and clubbed the crap out of some KKK members tonight, a pretty substantial segment of society would say that those dirty bigots just got what they deserved. The pendulum has swung waaaay too far.

All the same, you won't find me incidentally commenting on a public channel on a mud: "Boy, I sure miss bread. You know, due to the Jewish holiday of Passover I've been celebrating where I eat mahtza and can't eat bread for eight whole days. I'm not randomly bringing up this topic to draw attention to the fact that I'm Jewish. I'm just talking about what's going on in my life, generally, which happens to indirectly indicate that I'm Jewish, which is totally no different than the rest of you wishing each other Merry Christmas every December, so if any of you mention anything that indicates that being Jewish is a thing that makes me different than being the majority religion, you're a dirty anti-semite and should be banned from this mud." You're on the freaking internet. The second you broadcast a piece of information, it's out there for comment. If you're okay letting people know you're gay, directly or incidentally, great! But frankly, all of us, not just homosexuals, should be censoring anything we don't want people to know. It's the internet. Do you really want everybody logged into the same mud as you knowing any detail about your life?
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:50 PM   #20
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Re: Finding a Place to Call Home: Communities Tolerant & Accepting of Gay Gamers

It a very nice article... and something that all game devs, admins and mods should be aware of. I played a game where the admin started conversations on illegal matters, was more lenient than mods on racism, sexism, religious discrimination and sexual prefrence discrimination, which just ended up with us having the scum of the internet in the game. Even though i am of no ethnic minority, it does upset me seeing an admin condone and take part in activities he should ban for.

This article should definitely be used for anti-discrimination in gaming awareness. its touching.

And to snowtrolls earlier post, the game i was reffering too, like my highschool peers, use "black", "jew" and "gay" as a way of showing their annoyance, which really, really annoys me, as not many have been banned for such actions, and those who were banned, for in my own opinion, far lesser reasons.

Gay people are gay, just because they are. You and I could quite easily been born with that preference. You might as well discriminate tall people, short people, people with a certain hair colour, accent or nationality.

You are what you are, and thats what make a person unique and amazing.

Last edited by Butler : 04-18-2013 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Nobody posted and missed out a reaction to joyofdiscord
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