The "Heat of the moment" and how to change it

As we all know Pewdiepie said the n-word on a stream and in a way that was offensive. Many of his defenders say it was in the “Heat of the moment” but this argument has been seen many times with multiplayer games with one I remember of a fighting game stream where a player was ok saying “rape that girl”. It a poor excuse for what is bad manners and just a way to dehumanize a person for what suppose to be a fun time.

It was @patrick.klepek that said this stem from the old arcade days where to one up your opponent you needed to say somethings to derail them. As time went on and the scene moved from closed arcades to more public places, players feel that they’re losing their place with games and so they double down on the insults. I get that you don’t want things to change but these insults are no longer acceptable and only hurt people. We need to change the way we talk and find betters to use when in those situations.

So my question is what should be done to better ourselves in these situations?

who is this “we”

i mean call me an ideological purist but i dont actually have to devote any brainpower to not yell slurs when mildly annoyed in much the same way as it does not require any effort on my part to not drop trou and take a dump in the middle of a starbucks

its Interesting to me that yr trying to characterise this as A Cultural Problem and not like, this guy who mostly got famous from yelling rape jokes might actually be kind of a dick as an individual


ye I assume yr looking for a more constructive answer than just “don’t be racist” but, that’s all I’ve really got here


“Heated gaming moment” is almost as bad a defense as “affluenza”


Also, just in response to your opening sentence, I don’t think there’s a non-offensive way for a white person to say the n word


Yeah I didn’t mean to write it like that and that true there really isn’t a place for it despite years of hearing it between people of color.

I think the audience here on the Waypoint forums is pretty different from the audience who participate regularly in Pewdiepie’s Twitch chat, honestly. I’m not sure any discussion we have here about how to better “ourselves” (meaning the average Waypoint forums user) will really do that much to improve the outlook of the group of people who drop slurs regularly out of anger/frustration/etc. There’s always the chance for some overlap, but we’re not the same demographic by and large.

If you mean reaching those audiences or figuring out where it starts before it escalates into a whole subculture of people who use slurs at the drop of a hat, then I’d recommend starting with reading Klepek’s “What Should Parents Do When Their Kid’s Favorite YouTuber Gets Racist?” and checking out Failnaut’s response thread about parenting. Colin Spacetwinks also writes a fair bit about the related subject of ironic bigotry, like this Twitter thread on how they see it having grown in the past two decades of the internet.

And this post is, as always, evergreen.


You’re right, I guess I was being too general with what I said and asking my question. I just been so annoying how this is still going to the point where it those voice that will bring down video games industry.

Pretty sure the slur in question hasn’t been acceptable in public space since idk pre-integration in the US.

And how is ‘heat of the moment’ even a defence? That’s just admitting that I harbour these thoughts or perhaps say these things in private. A Freudian slip.

If you’re getting heated, the best thing to do is step away from the game causing you stress and do something more relaxing. Just a 5 minute break and working on your breathing is better for you than to keep playing.

It’s probably harder for streamers to just “switch off” or stop playing a game that they said they were going to play, but if you’re such a famous streamer I think it doesn’t matter what you play. Just play something that isn’t as stressful before you blow a gasket.

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See, there’s a difference between “getting angry/frustrated/confrontational/hostile” and “engaging in behavior that promotes bigotry”. Others have pointed this out quite clearly already for this particular case – that it is entirely possible and normal to get angry without being racist – but since I am thinking about community things, I will also point out that it works the other way round too: a “friendly” community where people are never confrontational with one another, but where it is acceptable to make “friendly” racist jokes or “friendly” transphobic comments all in good fun, is shitty and not actually friendly.

And because I think it is important to repeat what has been said, and not let it get lost in my rambling: anger != racism. If someone produces racist slurs when angry that just means that they are racist, and are usually better at hiding it. Nobody gets to blame “stress” or “heatedness” for being racist.


I’ll say this: every single time I decided to self-reflect on my behavior or choice of words was because someone else either called it out, or because I was punished by community leaders in some fashion. In my early 20s I had a bad habit of using the r-slur until a coworker spoke out and said “you claim to be a progressive person yet continue to use a phrase that belittles the mentally disabled, what’s your excuse for that?” and I had nothing.

In TF2 I’d childishly yell at other people who weren’t playing “right”, even after a moderator warned me to calm down, and when I was inevitably banned from the server, it made me realize that I was being an asshole for no reason. Likewise for the few years I posted on the SA forums, I tended to lash out against people there, and it took several temp bans before I realized that I desperately needed to control my anger.

On a fundamental level, a big-time celebrity in the streamer community will likely never have this moment, because they are virtually invincible from platform moderation, and ideologically buoyed by their fanbase if they ever have an actual moment of self-doubt.

While I do think it’s important for us as individual people to self-reflect on our online behavior every so often, when it comes to the spearheads of gaming as a cultural landscape, the pressure shouldn’t be so much on ourselves but rather the platform infrastructure that refuse to hold these mega-influential personalities accountable for their behavior and actions.


That right. After the podcast and looking over what I said it is more on the people who are encouraging this behavior and the platforms that they are on.

A million times this. No defense lawyer in history as used a client’s anger to justify something like road rage. Rash emotions can never be a justified for putrid behavior. Emotional stress often brings out the worst in us but part of maturing is rising above our instincts and bad behavior.

I’ve thrown things on the floor, hit stuff and used colourful language to vent my frustration at a game. Never used racial slurs or anything the like. And I suppose, if you do, you just need to work on that shit. Same as I worked on aforementioned behaviour. I learned to step away from a game if I got frustrated. If you use racial slurs without actually harbouring hateful thoughts towards people of other races, it’s something you got to work on. It’s a culture of casual racism that has rubbed off on you; a bit of internalised racism you need to acknowledge you have and scrub out of your system.

We mustn’t forget how important it is to build atmosphere’s in daily life where this is unacceptable to both persuade ourselves to keep aiming for improvement, as well as to persuade others to look within themselves. It’s important to also call it out regardless of company, if people only get called out when they say things like this in the presence of strangers or those directly hurt/targeted by the results of using such words, then the moral isn’t that “this word is bad and needs to be lost from our group lexicon” but instead “this is a word for the closest knit group who know that each other aren’t actually racist”.

Furthermore, the change needn’t be as extreme as racism. I know I personally use phrases such as “dumb” to a degree that isn’t ideal and I should use better words (both because it turns people’s intelligence into a form of joke, as well as being needlessly ambiguous). We all have things in our language that aren’t 100% inclusive, and it’s up to us to put the effort in to repeatedly look out for these things, analyse our words, and incentivise ourselves to keep improving. Do the same for your friends. Make sure the general opinion on these phrases is clear. Don’t be afraid about calling someone out in a thoughtful way, because often you’ll find that many people are uneasy who find knowing where everyone stands on the issue to be less stressful than trying to balance confusing intra-group perceptions.

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I still don’t understand why so many people seem to get angry when playing video games. My instinct is to chalk it up to “anger issues”, but it seems like the issue is more complicated than that. Maybe I’m the weird one, but I’ve never broken a controller, screamed at a video game character who can’t hear me, or even rage-quit a multiplayer match. It just doesn’t happen. I take it as a given that any time I play a game there will be times when I do well, and times when I don’t, and occasionally something may seem unfair. This isn’t so different from any other situation in life, so it’s strange to me that games seem to elicit anger from people who are otherwise generally in control of their emotions.

As for not shouting the N-word… yeah, don’t be racist.

In terms of getting angry when playing video games, games, as well as other media, are sorta made to evoke emotions out of the player, so it’s not surprising that anger can be one of them. Although games rarely make me angry(frustrated, yes, angry, not so much), I won’t really say that becoming angry while playing games is a sign of a lack of emotional control. Games is generally a relatively safe environment to experience anger, so if you’re going to do so anywhere, probably best there than other places.

This is under the assumption of you’re not being abusive to other players, which is simply something you shouldn’t do, angry or not.

I don’t think a “heated gaming moment” is ever going to change who you are fundamentally, it just short circuits the filter between what you think and what you say. This was the whole problem with Pewdiepie, not just that he said a word that is verboten, but what that revealed about his thought processes. you need to catch yourself thinking these things and using these words internally, stop yourself and try to do better next time eventually your second thoughts will become first thoughts and when you get overwhelmed the first thing out of your mouth will reflect your new, better internal monologue.