Opinion

Game Over for Racism

By ADMIR DURAKOVIC

Staff Writer

Parents can no longer tell their children that playing video games won’t earn them any money. Gaming has exploded as a part of the entertainment industry with competitive esports on the rise and gaming themed videos dominating on video sharing/streaming sites such as YouTube and Twitch.

The recent surge of video game centric content has given many gamers a job on the Internet, a means to support themselves financially doing what they love.

However, some streamers have found themselves in hot water after letting expletives slip during a streaming session.

The one word that appears to be popular amongst big streamers is the n-word. Recent infamous cases of misconduct involving this word came when some of the most popular online figures were playing two of the most popular online games.

YouTuber Felix Kjellberg, better known as Pewdiepie, first made waves on last September during a stream of PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, usually shortened to PUBG. After his teammate was killed by another player, Pewdiepie said on stream, “what a f****** n*****” .

Kjellberg immediately followed up by saying “Geez, oh my god, sorry.” It’s clear he realized he made a mistake with his choice of words, but that shouldn’t excuse what he said.

Pewdiepie first got major traction while living in England, but has spent time in the United States filming videos for YouTube, including episodes of his YouTube Red series, “Scare PewdiePie.”

Pewdiepie apologized for his actions in a video he uploaded to his YouTube channel three days later, titled “My Response.” In the video, Kjellberg acknowledges what he had done, saying “I said the worst word that I could possibly think of and it just sort of slipped out. I’m not going to make any excuses to why it did because there are no excuses for it.”

In the position Pewdiepie was in, he must have realized he represents more than just himself and that his actions have consequences.

The most recent case of a gamer saying the n-word on stream was on March 26, when popular Fortnite streamer Richard “Ninja” Blevins ad libbed the n-word during a drunk stream trying to rap Logic’s song “44 more.”

A major source of criticism directed at Blevins is that the songs he was trying to rap never contained the word in the first place, so it doesn’t make sense for him to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Blevins apologized for the incident on Twitter three days later.

“While I am confident that most of this is a misunderstanding, I recognize that it’s my responsibility to never let there be THIS kind of a misunderstanding,” Blevins said. “More than anything, I hate that any of my friends, fans, or viewers might feel disrespected.”

Regardless of the fact that he was rapping or intoxicated, someone who is literally the most popular streamer on Twitch should always be aware of their situation and realize what they do and say reflects the gaming and streaming community as a whole.

They knew the context behind the word and if it is okay to use it, especially in front of thousands of mostly young fans.

These slip ups do not help the causes of other entertainers who are trying to find success playing video games and those that earn a majority of their earnings by streaming. They have to understand that their position comes with a responsibility, and whenever they mess up, it could affect millions of people.

Categories: Opinion