360-Gamer posted an article yesterday (link
) outlining the troubles of Forza 2 with racism, and Microsoft doing little to help the situation, though I don't agree completely with the statements in the article, it did strike a chord in me enough to rant a little. To address the first issue of the racism in Forza 2, or lets take it further, just racism on Xbox Live in general. I mean, this has started well before Forza, if I am playing Halo 2 on any given day and don't get called a Mexican by at least one user, I now feel a little neglected. I do not know the average age of a Live user, but I guess it has to be under 14. Really though, that I don't take in to account as much as I do the life the people that spout out these comments.
I think about how when I was younger, hanging out with my friends, just as "boys will be boys," we would end up at some point saying the most vulgar comments we could think of at each other, trying to get on our last nerves (I can admit to being so childish even now, that I still call my cousin who is about my age as many gay terms as I can, as he comes back at me with as many fat jokes as he can muster). Now this would be carried out onto the school yard during athletic games, maybe not as far as calling a person a "N*gg*r" or a "J*w" (as I hear on Live all the time), but certainly everything else, such as sexuality to peoples "mommas" would come into play, and really, this was fair game.
Quickly, a little more on prejudice in general, coming from a guy who is Japanese, Ecuadorian, Italian, Cherokee, Irish, and Spanish, I take true racism very seriously. To the point that I see it in places sometimes others do not, such as one of my favorite examples, "Black Entertainment Television." Being a fan of rap music when I was younger, I watched a good amount of the channel, but now when I think about it, it has a pretty negative message. It is promoting prejudice in itself by the name of the channel, it promotes that if you are black, what they show is what you should consider entertainment. We all know being anti-race is wrong, no arguments from anyone here, but how is it that pro-race isn't as well? When the channel ensures that they have no other on air talent, other than african american persons, are they not only discriminating against one race, but all other races?
Now, its not as though I am picketing the BET offices, but the point about that is, if the same people who are blindly allowing such a channel to exist, which is a full on serious business and enterprise, how is they would be in shambles over little kids and their fake racism meant to just insult people, rather than a business with a full on prejudice agenda? Where are peoples priorities on racism? Attacking the kids rather than trying to get at the problem from the source, the media, its a very overall mixed message.
I am not sure what the answer is to the current buzz this racism on Forza
is causing or just racism in general, but I do know taking it as seriously as some people do is definitely not the way to go. There is serious racism, and then there is the kind that is just childish to get on your nerves, maybe there are some real feelings behind what the users say and do online, but I am willing to bet that it is just kids trying to get a rise out of people. Microsoft does set up means to stop this all, its not as though they just want people to accept this and let it slide, there is the feedback feature for all 360 users to leave feedback for other users
, positive or negative, and put why you are leaving that feedback (which I always found not enough people use), as well as I see they also provide for Forza 2 users an Abuse Form (link
). So while people go on their rants and whines online, are they all taking the time out to make changes themselves? Are they even targeting the right people? As no matter what, Microsoft is the last group to blame.