Playing Team Fortress 2 today I had a little chat with some other players that ultimately saw me leaving the server and blacklisting it. This wasn’t some sort of intense shouting match or expletive laden exchange, just a quiet conversation.

The problem here is that terms like “furfags” and hateful remarks aimed at “bronies” annoy me a great deal. For a start I cannot abide the homophobic slur “fag” and no, I do not consider it a word that has been repurposed to mean something different. Tolerating such behaviour as if it were normal and acceptable simply doesn’t sit right with me.

Similarly taking issue with “furries” baffles me. How does that have any relevance in the context of TF2?

In some ways I’m glad about the way Google are making efforts to make YouTube commenting less anonymous. In plenty of contexts I’d rather have anonymity but there is a great deal of responsibility that comes with that kind of privilege. Apparently for the most part humans cannot treat each other with anything approaching good grace when not accountable.

When on servers I try my best not to moan too much but if homophobic or racist slurs are being tossed around as if they’re acceptable I will speak up. I’m not the target of the remarks but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m part of the temporary community that exists within a server population. If I stand bearing mute witness as this kind of poisonous behaviour goes on I honestly would struggle to live with myself.

I hope that in the near future things like player behaviour tracking can help to crack down on this sort of thing. Just because we’re shooting at each other doesn’t mean we need to be terrible human beings while we do it.

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