Cycle of prejudice?

August 12, 2007

As I’ve professed here (and elsewhere) before, I’m a fan of the Silent Hill series of games. My ex (a big gamer) introduced me to the series, and while I took a passing interest, at best, with the other titles he tried to get me to play, something about the Silent Hill games really hooked me.

Because I have such an interest in the SH games, I try to keep informed about what’s going on with them. I’ve known for a while that a prequel to the first game is being released on the PSP, and though I don’t own a PSP or have any interest in getting one, I have been watching its development.

Yesterday, I went to Gamespot to check on the game (titled Silent Hill: Origins, if you’re interested), when I noticed that there was a link on the front page for this article on Second Life. The article talks about the lawsuit pending over copyright infringement of the SexGen products.

Already being somewhat informed of what was going on with the case, the article wasn’t of much interest to me, and I scanned over it quickly. Then, I began to read the responses to the article left by Gamespot users. Though I perhaps shouldn’t have been, I was surprised by what I read.

The Gamespot users were almost unanimously denouncing the Second Life platform and referring to its users using terms like “loser” and “pathetic.” Many of the comments referred to the virtual sex in world and how the users should spend the cost of a SexGen bed (reported on the site at $45) to go out and get a real date.

It actually bothered me to read the comments and the hateful tone many of them had. Why such strong, negative feelings against SL users?

I know that there are factors that cause such responses. I’m just guessing, but I’m certain that most of those comments were left by pre-teen, teen, and twentysomething males who have probably never been in SL and are only focusing on the stories about SLex that pop up all too often. I think there are also those gamers who are offended that SL is often considered a game (and I don’t think many SL users would argue that it is).

I guess part of what bothers me about this is that gaming wasn’t always so mainstream, and the same insults that these gamers are throwing at SL users have been used against them in the past. Is this just a way of letting out their own frustation at the prejudice they once had to endure? Do they not realize they’re just repeating the same behavior, do they just not care, or do they take pleasure in being the jerks this time?



  1. it makes me laugh to see comments like these. they obviously never been in sl and are basing there judgement on the article.

    the particularly funny thing is they say to get a first life and go out but they probably all play world of warcraft that is even more a time sink then sl will ever be

  2. Well first I agree with Tiana… Most of them have less of a life than those using SL… So it’s awfully ironic to say the least…

    But it’s expected… Gamers in general tend to bash anything they don’t personally like or do… You see these between all the ‘factions’: Console vs PC, Console vs Rival Console, Game type vs Game type, Game series vs Game series, etc vs etc…

    I’ve been a gamer for ages and I’ve seen it for everything and anything and standing up for it just gets you personally attacked… And With people from my parents generation gaming still isn’t excepted… my mom still swears I’m wasting my time ‘playing games’ And should do more ‘real work’…

  3. Interesting… When I was in highschool I remember getting a copy of the text adventure game ‘Leather Godess of Phobos’.. I found that exciting hehe. I would not be suprised if a lot of these people who posted negative thoughts on SL will go check out SL because of that article. As a people we are so interested in sex. Even if we get RL sex we are still interested in SL sex, pictures of sex, and so on.

    I will tend to agree with shadow on the bashing gammers will do. Some online game players like to involve themselves in Trash talk, a kind of bashing of each other, so bashing a game they have never played is more of a sport to them then actually thinking about the whole thing.

    But even so, it is a bit disturbing, and is a bit ignorant for them to talk with such confidence about something they know nothing about or to bash something, but secretly hide a desire to check out SL sex. You cannot be human and not be curious.

  4. Tiana: That’s exactly what I think. Even if they don’t consider SL a game, they should realize that it is just another virtual form of entertainment. Anything they say about SL users is equally applicable to themselves.

    Shadow: I’ve noticed that gamers do seem awfully confrontational about some of the most seemingly inconsequential things. Like I said, my ex was a gamer, so I heard a lot of the PS3 vs XBox 360 arguments. Seemed like everyone was adamantly for one or the other, and if you didn’t agree with them, you were just stupid :/

    Ginseng: Let me just say the title “‘Leather Godess of Phobos” makes me laugh 🙂

    I wonder if you’re onto something about them secretly being curious about SLex, but they bash it because of the stigma applied. There are enough gamers who wanted to see Lara Croft naked or to unlock the Hot Coffee mini game in GTA: San Andreas to show that the interest is likely there, whether they want to admit to it or not.

  5. Well, friends, at least we have a second life.
    About all those gamers, well i think is more a part-of-a-tribe behaviour than any other thing, or maybe they prefer “prefab” worlds to “play”.

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