Twitch Streamers Can't Help Themselves Saying Homophobic Slurs
There has been a years-long debate among the shining stars of the esports scene about the word 'Faggot'. In particular, whether it's okay or not to use it during their streams in high tension situations.
I wouldn't think this would have been this complicated. No, it's not okay.
This conversation arose again a few weeks back when Mohamad 'm0E' Assad, a professional CS:GO player, typed 'Faggot' into in-game chat. This was followed by a long discussion on why he believes he's allowed to use such slurs. The outburst resulted in a temporary ban on twitch for 'hateful conduct'.
After his ban, m0E took to Twitter to speculate that he was apart of a "reddit witch hunt". Esports commentator Thorin came out in defense of m0E, blaming "SJWs" for his banning. Thorin further states that "The historical etymology of the word m0E used is not and has never been explicitly or solely homophobic in meaning". He then proceeds to bring up the origin of the word (the classic "bundle of sticks" defense).
Overwatch League commentator MonteCristo chimed in on the debate with this tweet:
There are many people attempting to enforce a tyranny of language based on their own definitions of words without looking into context/etymology."
He later deleted that tweet following a negative reaction from the community and fellow industry professionals. One such person, Rod Breslau, responded to MonteCristo:
No one thinks you do. That's not the point. "Enforcing tyranny of language"? Wtf? It's homophobic, disparaging comments at worse, being a complete asshole at best. Same thing Blizzard has suspended players for. Not only is there no need to defend it, it should be denounced.— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) July 2, 2018
Sky Willams also called out Thorin's use of the etymology argument.
colloquial usage of the word had rapidly evolved it but since then it's remained the same.— (@SkyWilliams) July 2, 2018
i think it's fair to point out that the origin wasn't offensive but that's just splitting hairs. If a word evolves into a slur it's unconditionally hurtful to most, no matter the history.
After Sky Willams became involved, the discussion was brought to a larger light, with every streaming Tom, Dick, and Harry putting in their own 2 cents for one side or the other.
But what it all comes down to is this. "Is it okay to use faggot in anger while playing video games?".
Once again, the answer is no. Especially so when you're streaming to thousands of people — people who are looking up to you as a role model. Be the better person, or the world will be worse for it.
Jack Dixon is a gamer, cinephile, and more than likely he's the guy who's ignoring you on Grindr. Tweet him @Jackaphobia.