The Guy Looking To Expose Online Gaming's Worst Jerks

The Guy Looking To Expose Online Gaming's Worst Jerks

The guy recording racist and sexist crap in online multiplayer matches know he's going to stop doing it soon. "I really only play one game these days; [Call of Duty:]Ghosts on Xbox Live," he says. "I am a pretty nasty FIFA player but I really don't want to invest any more money or time into video games. I'm pretty sure 360 will be my last game console."

But, while he's still playing, the man behind The Bigot Gamer says he's still going to expose the toxic behaviour of others, whether they like it or not.

You're not going to find out the name of the man running Bigot Gamer. He requested anonymity when I reached out to him over email. "It's not so much [that] I'm trying to hide my identity as I'm trying to create an Identity within the gaming community," he says. The revelation of a gamertag -- NYCSoccer -- is as much as he's willing to offer. His last handle TheBigotGamer was banned because of a TOS violation. "I'm sure 'Bigot' is not appropriate within the Xbox Live community."

NYCSoccer knows the stuff he's posting on YouTube is the norm for a vasrt majority of online gaming experiences. "I don't think what I hear is any worse from what most players in the online gamer community hear on a regular basis," he offers. "Most of what I hear is despicable, but a lot of the times it's just simple smack talk by an individual with limited and bigoted vocabulary. I don't particularly enjoy posting a 13-year-old going off on a bigoted rant because hey, he's just 13 years old. We were all emotional and 13 at one point in time. I try to give those kids a break but sometimes I'll post one here and there. On the other hand, adults are fair game." He did note that no parents have ever reached out to him after he posted video of younger players saying offensive things.


"I don't particularly enjoy posting a 13-year-old going off on a bigoted rant because, hey, he's just 13 years old. We were all emotional and 13 at one point in time."


"The worst is when you are in party chat with team members that are ignorant and hateful. You can't just mute the player cause he's just a friend of a friend that's really good and you need to communicate with that player in order to win. I have very thick skin so I mostly just ignore it (while keeping tabs on the record feed). Most of the people that are on my friends list know who I am and what I'm about. These days, I give "friendlies" fair warning that anything they say can and will be posted to the internet. Ever since I started recording, I've weeded out many of the bigoted friendlies. If any still remain on my friends list, they know to keep their trap shut."

In the previous post about The Bigot Gamer, some readers said that it seemed as if NYCSoccer were goading or baiting other players into saying bigoted things in some of his videos. I asked him how he responded to that assertion and if he could give some context as to the conversations viewers see. "When I first started recording, I would announce to the lobbies that I was recording. As I played on and continued to record, I found that to get a true representation of what kind of fucked up things are being said on a daily basis, I would have to take a completely hands-off approach. I stopped informing people and just let the hate flow completely unprovoked. Sometimes when I've heard enough, I'll announce that I'm recording and then mute them. These days, the only thing I bait players with is my gameplay (which can be pretty infuriating)."

"I once had a player accuse me of slander through Xbox Live. I asked which video he was referring to and, if he could prove it, I would immediately take it down. I never heard back from the person. I'm sure there's going to be plenty of backlash in the coming weeks though."


"Man, it would suck for my kid to grow up and talk this way."


"Is this sort of thing -- recording other people on Xbox Live -- allowed? "From my research, I do not believe I have to inform gamers that I am recording as Xbox Live game chat is a sort of public place and gamers can expect to be recorded when using the service. I am not a lawyer and there seems to be a bit of grey in this area but, just to be safe, I do my best to inform lobby members that I'm recording, especially if they say something bigoted. Probably the best way of going about it is to have the gamer tag, 'I am recording.'" Kotaku has reached to Microsoft for the company's official stance on recording gameplay like this.

Update: Here's Microsoft's official comment, via a spokesperson:

"Microsoft does not provide tools that record game-playing audio, other than that of the person doing the recording. Any questions around the legality of this practice should be discussed with a legal expert.

We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members and take this issue very seriously. Our Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team is guided by the Xbox Live Code of Conduct and Terms of Service and considers the appropriate enforcement actions needed to address cases of misconduct."

"I even name myself as a bigot [in the video above] because I yell, 'Allahu Akbar' as I hold a grenade and blow myself up for the game-winning kill. If you listen further to the conversation you'll hear that it's just a bunch of dudes being exactly what dudes do online; bullshit and trash talk while playing a competitive video game. It's therapeutic for many people to be able to go online and release some anger. It would just be nice to leave the bigoted thoughts behind."

He recognises that his own 'Allahu Akbar' moment is a problematic one, though. "We all make mistakes. I thought it was funny but then I looked back and realised that it wasn't. It's religious discrimination, I guess. I'm not any better than the common person. But I'm not going to try to hide." The thirtysomething says he's seen bigotry up close and personal while growing up in suburban Pennsylvania. The Grand Wizard of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Ku Klux Klan lived down the street from him, NYCSoccer told me, and he and a group of friends stumbled onto a KKK rally while walking through in the woods during their teenage years. "So, when people say terrible things, I know where that comes from. I've been around that. And I also know that it's possible to grow beyond any ignorance you absorb when you're growing up."

"Here is an excellent example of one of the completely unprovoked (other than my 30 - 3 K/D) videos. This is typical of a recording session as I just hit record and let people say what they want. Ideally, this is exactly how all the videos should be. The simple fact is that anyone that's familiar with online multi-player knows that it doesn't take any provocation for [people] sometimes to yell bigoted slurs. That's part of the deal when playing online and you either mute the player, leave the lobby or stay in party chat."

"I'm hoping that this website can serve as a basis for a dialog on how to curtail the amount of bigoted language online. I believe that anonymity is the key here and online communities such as Xbox Live should have a more robust and transparent identification system. People would think twice about saying something bigoted if there was some kind of way to personally identify them."

The fact that he's a parent to a four-year-old served as partial inspiration for The Bigot Gamer, after sitting through yet another session filled with young players dropping epithets. "Man," he remembers thinking, "it would suck for my kid to grow up and talk this way. How funny would it be to record and post this stuff?"

NYCSoccer says he's not planning on leaving video games behind because of the things he hears when he plays online. Rather, it's fatherhood that's pulling him away from the analogue sticks. "I'm not going to want a console in the house until he's old enough to appreciate it." And he knows that there'll still be trash talk when the moment his own son eventually jumps into online gaming. "Trash talk is part of sports. I do it all the time. What I want is trash talk without racist, sexist, homophobic language. Being bigoted… there's just no place for it in the world today."


Comments

    I mute every multiplayer lobby I join.

    If a game doesn't let me mute, then I don't play it.

      Yep, that's what I always have to do unfortunately. Recently I was trying out the new Ace Combat beta and I couldn't mute people. Most of the games it was fine (no mics) but one kid was playing and eating food at the same time and I could hear his whole family in the background... ugh...

    Funny I didn't find his bigot video on his site?

    I can't agree with what this guy is doing. We all know there are assholes in the world, that will never change. Calling people names over a games service is dumb and silly, nothing else! Let them embarass themselves. Publicly exposing, humiliating etc will just make people hate more! Like when a Twitter spelling mistake goes "viral" (god I am starting to hate that word), it no doubt leads to death threats etc; everything gets blown way out of proportion! A case in England of the not so clever local residents hounding a paedeatrician out of town, because the word "looks" like paedophile springs to mind! There are far better causes you could be putting your time into than this. The sooner we realise the human race isn't particularly nice, the better.

    What's the solution to this? Do you ban their Xbox Accounts, PSN Accounts because some words upset you? I really dont think that this is the answer and publicly shaming people isn't the right way to go about it, that can have far worse consequences than someone getting "offended" in an online argument! We really don't want to start turning into the thought police. Mute is there for a reason, I suggest more people should use it.

    I mean go back to the original Usenet and Newsgroups! Every single discussion on there had trolls, it's what humans do, all forms of comedy is trolling in some form or another! Yes the language sucks, I've been on the receiving end of plenty of insults after I've gone 5-0 up in FIFA, it's hilarious hearing the rage and staying silent, they eventually run out of steam and either rage quit or just accept their defeat!

    I'd say this guy is in a very very grey area recording kids voices. If I was a parent, I would not want their name, whether they were guilty or not of offensive language, their details posted around on the net, and I would take legal action against the guy if he was the perpetrator!

    Last edited 14/03/14 2:49 pm

      As a parent, if I caught my kid talking like any of these fine specimens, the console would go straight in the bin. There is no excuse for it.

      You can rage and be upset, but if a parent lets their kid play online and use such language then they have void their right to be upset if someone records their voice on the other end. If you walked up to someone in a public place and spoke like this, made the same threats and abuse, it would be a very different story, why is it any different? Because its just talking over the internet, people don't have feelings on the internet?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRQijskAMp4

      @mushaconvoy raises an interesting point about these places being public.

      In a lot of places, you're legally allowed to record anyone you want without their permission if it's in a public space. Does a game lobby or public server count as a public space? Interesting to see how the legals of that pan out.

      In some cases, the language that you see from these kids can actually be the illegal thing going on. Free speech is a thing in the US, not Australia, and even then it comes with limits - such as being used to exhort violence against any particular group.

      And while naming and shaming CAN go overboard, it's also the only tool other than litigation which society has to indicate what's acceptable within a culture or not. I see no problem with it. If people have racist/homophobic thoughts then yes, they SHOULD be so terrified of censure or consequences that they don't poison the air with them. That's how societies change themselves - social pressure.

        Realistically speaking I think it'd have to qualify as public since there's really no barrier to exclude specific people beyond ownership of hardware/software/subscription. They don't have to apply to join the game lobby and there's no bouncer on the join game button or anything like that.

        Hmm, there's a potentially relevant thought, would something like the RSL club count as a private or public space? It's about as close as I can think of to a real world counterpart.

        ...and now I'm thinking of 80 year olds losing their shit at the pokies and screaming that they're going to teabag the mother of the person who made it...

          lost my shit at the pokies part lol!

          Was at the club the other week, a little old lady who I swear looked exactly like Betty White lost everything on her pokie with what I figure was a high paying bad spin. The *tirade* that came forth was unbelievable. We actually made the joke at that point that she put the xbox live kiddies to shame lol.

    Am I the only who never gets these players? Either no one has a mic or just some kid making noises. Worst was a kid talking to his friend in the same house with his mic on.

      Yeah, sometimes you'll get idiot kids telling dead-baby jokes and talking about how much they love getting high (and/or may be right now). Other times accusing each other of being gay and telling gay jokes. The last time I bothered in that arena was for Halo: Reach. Haven't bothered since.

        Worse I've ever come across in any online game is GTA Online, and Tbh its mostly Americans I've heard raging and carrying on, not that I have anything against them, I'm glad that the game has the different chat options in it unlike COD and etc.

      I usually just get vague mic noises, just like someone has a mic on and occasionally bumps it but that's about all. That said I very rarely play open multiplayer stuff so my sample size is insanely small.

    One reason why I am liking Blizzard's Hearthstone. Only 6 emotes and that's it. Having played 15 years of Counter Strike I know what this guy's feeling

    Last edited 14/03/14 3:17 pm

      Still get your assholes though.
      Have you encountered the type of person who goes "Sorry!" after every (mostly) move?

    I'd like to give a special shout out to my fellow DOTA 2 players, gotta be some of the harshest crowd i've come accross, and what makes it worse is the abuse comes from your own team. Get ganked by 3 enemies at the start of the game while farming under your tower? YOU ARE A NOOB AND COST EVERYONE THE GAME. GG. UNINSTALL DOTA AND NEVER PLAY AGAIN.

    Last edited 14/03/14 3:21 pm

      Wow. That's pretty dickish behaviour. You should probably reply with, "LOL," or something. Drive them into a frenzy.

      The other problem iv seen in DOTA 2, is when you try to point something out to someone nicely such as "Hey xxx you might want to keep back a bit" or " Be carafule". Some people then get way way to defensive, and go on a rant calling you an asshole etc etc.

    I had no idea the KKK had a 'wizard' ranking. Geez they are an embarrassment.

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