Real-Time Racism

| 3/17/2008 11:14:48 AM

Xbox Live: bringing youth together with hours of gaming and racist rants. That’s according to Youth Today, the Washington-based “newspaper on youth work,” which reports in its March 2008 issue (subscription required) that racist flare-ups are plaguing the online, multiplayer gaming system. Joseph Moreno, a 28-year-old law student who plays under the screen name Joeblackisback, says he’s been buffeted by comments such as “That nigger must still be in here, it smells like shit,” and “I love it when niggers play. I love killing them.” Similar complaints—though not systematically documented—abound in the online gaming community. 

Some players and gaming bloggers argue that Xbox creator Microsoft needs to take a firmer hand in addressing users’ complaints of racist harassment. After 10 complaints, the company can ban an offending player or silence the player’s ability to speak online. If that’s too slow a reaction time, there is another option: Go on “Dr. Phil.” That’s what Terry, an African American father of three, did in January after his complaints were rebuffed with the “need 10 examples” threshold. The nation’s telepsychologist couldn’t get anyone from Microsoft to come on his show, but the company agreed to assign a “security team member” to Terry’s case “so,” Dr. Phil explained,” they can sit down and start this ball rolling.” 

Hannah Lobel

3/27/2008 12:25:17 AM

Hooray for smart responses, there. There is no such thing as 'in one ear, out the other'. Kids are resiliant, yes, but should they be exposed to someone else's random bigotry? No. Too often people get online & use the anonymity it gives them to turn into jerks. Such random vitriol & hatred can be more hurtful than a true provoked response, and persons playing a game or chatting online in a room that connects them with the rest of the world should realize that comments like that have no place there. It also displays a lack of intelligence, empathy & respect for your fellow players.

Raza Usman
3/26/2008 2:31:04 PM

SO What. In through one ear out the other...

D'Wayne Taylor
3/17/2008 2:48:21 PM

This happens quite frequently. Often times I am somewhat reluctant to allow my kids to play online, even when I am in the room with them, because of some of the vile and offensive racist chatter in the game lobbies.

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