In a now deleted tweet, the official twitter account of Cyberpunk 2077 reminded us gaming still needs to grow up. Also, it serves as a reminder that in 2018 the feelings of the marginalized still fall on deaf ears.
Now I must say, I really appreciate social media. We live in an age where you can propel your brand and or create a PR nightmare in the matter of minutes. All within just a few words and the touch of a button.
A twitter user asked, I want more guys in response to a picture they posted. They then replied “did you just assume their gender?!”. Now this is a highly insensitive meme in regards to the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people. There’s no tiptoeing around the fact that it is a transphobic statement — And a lot of people saw this .
So yes, an account with 246,000+ followers tweeted that out. Now, allow me to make some assumptions about the person that tweeted that. This person was more than likely a cis-gender, heterosexual male. Stop me if you’ve heard this but I think us heterosexuals tend to be the root cause for a lot problems.
Plus, given the sad demographics regarding the gaming industry…it’s more than just an educated guess this was by a male.
As gaming tries (and fails a lot) to grow up, this is rather unfortunate. In 2018, we still have issues of not recognizing fellow human beings. Their feelings and justifiable rights are dismissed. Navigating life without being dehumanized is still a subject “discussion”. It’s not a discussion and certainly not grounds for humor.
Why This Was/Is A Problem
Representation, equality, inclusion, and diversity hinges upon visibility. A person just being themselves is power. Seeing themselves and others be is power. To question or to go a step further, deny them of their existence is erasure. Any joke, meme, etc mocking anyone queer, non binary, and so forth is rejection.
Now you maybe reading this thinking; yeah well you’re a heterosexual guy what do you care? Glad you asked! I’m able to function through society without my existence being called into question.
I, no we owe the normalcy we experience day in and out to everyone. This is how we insure everyone no matter their identity, is accepted as they should be. We owe this to loved ones, friends, coworkers, and etc.
So Do Better
As I mentioned before, the beautiful part of social media is visibility. As time moves on, many of us want gaming to be inclusive as possible. To that end, a lot of people called that horrible tweet. Which led to them deleting it. However screenshots are forever, so we won’t forget folks. Hopefully they understand their error going forward — Or remember how they hurt human beings.
Let’s use this as another example of accountability. Let’s hold the entertainment/media we spend time on to the highest regard.
If we want our hobbies(especially very profitable ones) to be the best they can be, speak up when they mess up— Our voices/opinions are powerful especially considering that we are their consumers.
Again, gaming needs to grow up. And our LGBTQIA+ mutuals, family, and so etc deserve to be seen, respected, and acknowledged like any other human being.