Video Game Culture & Hate Speech


Hey everyone,

I have a table at a local zine fest this weekend and will be selling copies of my video game zine. I am also making a “Guide to Video Game Culture & Hate Speech” that I will give away for free. I’m doing this because I think there’s a cross-section between video game subcultures and hate-filled internet subcultures, and I wanted to write from the perspective of someone helping non-gamers understand where this comes from, what it means, and how to deal with it. I’m also tired of being “apolitical” and want to do what little I can to combat hateful rhetoric. I also wanted to highlight positive internet subcultures (like the Waypoint forums!) that promote positivity.

I’ve been particularly motivated by a few videos on the YouTube channel ContraPoints, particularly the one titled “Decrypting the Alt-Right: How to Recognize a F@scist”. I’ve also had some very enlightening conversations on these forums (particularly one I started about “antifa”), so I thought I would reach out and see if anyone has any good articles related to this topic. I’m basing a lot of my information on personal experience, but I like referencing other perspectives when I can.

To give an example of what I’m writing about, I give an example of the outdated term “pwn” and explain how it came from the word “own” and originally meant that you were “owning someone”, like a slave. Over time, the original meanings get lost and people who aren’t familiar with the term will use it. Then I quote a couple examples in pop culture where the term gets used, like on an episode of NBC’s Community. A lot of it also has to do with how the competitive nature of online communities leads to “smack talk” and how, if left unchecked, people start using the worst possible insults and slurs. Then, over time, those get used in everyday parlance on message boards, like 4chan, and people get normalized to hearing/using them.

So, does anyone know of any articles/videos related to video game subcultures and hate speech (or even other internet cultures, such as 4chan) that might be useful? Also, does anyone have good articles about positive subcultures, especially ones with examples of how they’ve fought against hate speech?

Thanks in advance!