**Hello again Gaymers, it’s Brett, your fearless conductor of a fancy blog train barreling headlong toward Issue Town and Frivolity-burg, and you’re here for the third installment this little ongoing series called Gaymer Q&A, which well delve deep into the rich world of Gaymer life and culture. Also jokes! In short, it will fall somewhere between a TED talk on the existential crisis of our age and a clown who poops rainbows. Enjoy! Opinions of this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of GaymerConnect and are my own, a cis-gendered gay male who is also a dervish of declension and conjurer of conjugation with a million hit points and maximum charisma.**
Q: How do I respond to being called “homo” or “fag” online?
A: For those of you who have been sealed away in some sort of mystical tomb for 1000 years or have never broken your internet-gaming hymen by straying from single player, the words “fag,” “homo,” and “gay” are used about as often by online gamers as by the Westboro Baptist Church. And like many of the members of the “God Hates Fags” Church, many of the players who sling slurs are innocent, obnoxious children.
Do you remember being a child? (For those of you under the age of 18, pretend that you remember and play Angry Birds on your new iPad mini) Childhood is full of misinformation yet has a punishingly steep social learning curve. Don’t know what some kid at school or at a party is talking about? Better pretend you do (or figure out the reference fast) or it’s curtains for you!
Social dynamics are basically the same today, even with vastly more knowledge available a Google-beat away. I think if I somehow traveled back in time to relive most of my adolescence with a combination of Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary, and IMDB, I would have been a golden god. Regardless, things haven’t changed that much, and the fact is that most children still learn things ye olde fashioned way: either from their family or their peers.
It stands to reason that kids are learning to spout “fag” and “homo” from either their parents, siblings, and/or other kids. And whoever taught them how to use those slurs has inspired them to use it like a Klansman with Tourette’s. And although I’m pretty sure I don’t know how I’m playing MTG Online “like a homo,” many other players are quick to remind me of very constructive criticism. As I’ve learned, there are a couple of ways to deal with situations like this:
1) Ignore it
This was everyone’s mom’s cure-all. It may not be terribly satisfying, but it does make some sense. You’re an adult (mostly), and you don’t have to rise to the challenge of some 14-year-old who still spends most of his free time masturbating furiously in a room down the hall from his parents. Take a page from one of my current favorites on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and let it slide off you like water off a duck’s back.
2) Screw that, fight back!
F that high road S, this is the internet, time to street fight, muthafugga! You can certainly be more clever than a 5th grader, so try to get creative on them. I prefer to bust out with “asshat” or “dicksneeze,” and calling someone a “pathetic turd” always brings me great satisfaction. Remember, avoid cursing, as your adolescent attackers will likely already be letting loose a flurry of f*cks and sh*ts, and by staying classy, you’ll not only be setting yourself apart but also setting a good example. If all else fails, go for their gonads with a close-to-home line like “how’s high school algebra, you gonna graduate on time?” or “still worried about getting boners in gym class?”
3) Express your feelings in an earnest and constructive manner
Children respond well to pedantic adult speeches given over the internet from thousands of miles away, right? Hella wrong. But, you wanted to take the high road, so this is what you’re up against. At the very least, be brief and not incredibly tedious. Something like “don’t call me a faggot again or I will report/ban you.” Don’t like the idea of reporting someone? Even if this is the high road, you should be comfortable dispatching these brats by identifying them to someone with virtual power.
4) Embrace it and make your attacker uncomfortable
This is my personal favorite. If a player tells you that you’re playing Halo/WoW/Tetris like a homo, tell them thanks and that you’re doing your best to play while wrangling a whole gang of big black schlongs. You only have so many orifices and hands. If they invite you to suck their dick, ask them if they’re cut or uncut, and impress them with your knowledge of all things phallus. No teenager is confident enough with their sexuality to have a detailed conversation about actual man sex. If you are more knowledgeable about bio lady-parts, I wouldn’t exactly start down this road, as adolescent boys would love to engage you in talk about possible lesbian encounters and how they would “help out.”
5) Quit online games forever!
Game over man! Time to go back to playing SimCity2000, Outpost, or Civilization in your underwear until 5 a.m., deriving pure joy from amazing and disappointing only yourself.
In space…no one can call you faggot.