Thursday, September 03, 2009

Nnooo CEO Nic Watt comments on homophobia in vitrual communities

After reading an editorial ("The Impact of Homophobia in Virtual Communities," written by GLAAD's Justin Cole) on Kotaku recently, I came across a comment posted by Nnooo CEO Nic Watt. (Nnooo's claim to fame, so far: the popular WiiWare/DSiWare/iPhone title, Pop.)

Watt, one of the only "out" CEOs I know of in the games industry, responded to Cole's call to arms ("call for camaraderie" might be a better way to put it) by chatting about his experiences as an online gaymer:

"I find when playing on line that there are people who use the word gay as 'that is bad' or 'I don't like that.' In those instances, I ignore it and don't really think about it as an insult or ignorance. Sure there are better choices of words, [but] it is not being directed at anyone.

"Then there are the people who use words like gay, nigger, Jew and so forth [and direct them] at other players. This I find offensive and not because I am gay. I find it offensive because those people are deliberately using those words as an insult and one can directly infer that the user views those groups as inferior to him/herself. You don't use those sorts of slurs if you don't think those you are slurring are bad in someway.

"What is hard is that the former use of gay is fairly unique to homosexuality in that I cannot think of any other negative words we use to describe objects or situations which come from a minority slur. We don't say that is so nigger or that is so Jew. However, because I have become accustomed to it and because it is directed at a situation rather than an individual, I am OK with ignoring it (OK meaning indifferent, not over the moon).

"I am not OK with ignoring direct personal attacks on other players regardless of the words used. Calling someone a nigger, Jew or fag/gay can only be construed as an insult and is being used to incite hate, to bully and to assert control over the situation. This has to be stopped.

"I'm not saying that we should all hold hands and sing songs 'round a camp fire. Great online gaming should raise our passion and ire. Let's just try to keep the insults out of it!"

I thought about posting Watt's entire comment--it's certainly well worth your time--but I think it would be better if you clicked over to the Kotaku article and read it (along with Cole's editorial) there. Skip to the sixth comment if you want to get right to it.


Bryan Ochalla said...

BTW, I hope to interview Watt sometime soon, as I'd love to hear it's like to be one of the few 'out' CEOs in the games industry.

Bryan Ochalla said...

One more thing: I 'stole' the image of Watt from an article on ( Hopefully that's not a big deal! If it is, I'll remove it :)

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Thanks for sharing.